In a little over 24 hours, the sun will rise on the second TechCrunch Disrupt conference, brilliantly titled “TechCrunch Disrupt: San Francisco“. (Rejected titles include “TechCrunch Disrupt 2: Money Never Sleeps”, “TechCrunch Disrupt 2: For a Few Dollars More”, and “TechCrunch Disrupt 2: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer”.)
For those of you who missed the inaugural Disrupt, held in New York back in May, the event is a mash-up of two formats: a start-up competition where 24 as-yet-unlaunched businesses compete for $50,000 and
an old bowling trophy The TechCrunch Disrupt Cup – plus a star-studded conference where the likes of Eric Schmidt and Barry Diller take to the stage to inspire entrepreneurs and attempt to out-swear Carol Bartz. It’s a ridiculously impressive line-up, with a ratio of three Chabillionaires to every Chamillionaire.
But what for the paupers amongst you, who simply can’t scrape together the measly three grand required for a ticket? Frankly, if it were up to me, I’d say tough luck. It’s bad enough that we’re allowing women in for the first time this year, without also admitting the poor.
But Heather and Mike are more charitable than I, and in the interests of “inclusiveness” they’ve tried to throw open the doors to as many of you as possible. Early bird tickets were offered right up until the end of last week (TechCrunch Disrupt 2: Worms For Everyone!); there were free tickets for volunteers (allowing students to get involved with the conference on the same basis that I allow Mexicans to get involved with cleaning my pool) and there was even a giveaway of tickets to the most deserving cases (the winner was a fellow who chopped off one of his own legs and uploaded a photo of the bloody stump to Flickr. Kudos, self-hobbling man, kudos.).
And yet, whether through poverty, geography or judicial decree, some of you will still be unable to attend in person. But fret not! Heather and Mike’s generosity extends to you too: the entire conference will be shown live on “The Internet”, including all of the panels, the Startup Battlefield, the lunch breaks, and even the awkward moment at the after-party where two super-angels are caught passionately colluding in a bathroom stall.
Furthermore, Mike has bribed convinced me to return to Twitter – for three days only – to describe the event through 140-character updates. I’m hosting the Startup Battlefield so, as I encourage the audience to cheer wildly for the founders of ‘Cupstr’, you can check @paulatdisrupt for my true feelings about the start-up that promises to disrupt the five million dollar cupcake industry.
Lastly, but by no means leastly, long-time readers might recall that at TechCrunch 50 I created the TC50 Drinking Game, with participants encouraged to get increasingly wasted as panelists and entrepreneurs mentioned certain trigger phrases.
At Disrupt New York I was too busy running TechCrunch TV to host a proper re-run of the game – but now that I’ve been booted from that particular gig it’s back with a vengeance! The fun kicks off on Monday at 9am, and you’re welcome to play along no matter if you’re in the conference hall or watching at home. The rules are simple: line your stomach with a hearty breakfast, grab a bottle of something strong and follow these instructions…
Take a sip when…
– A Startup Battlefield entrepreneur thanks a judge for a “great question” and then proceeds not to answer it.
– An interviewee tells Mike Arrington to go fuck himself, ironically.
– An interviewee tells Mike to go fuck himself, unironically.
– Loic LeMeur refers to his French origins in a self-deprecating way.
– It becomes obvious that Robert Scoble is Tweeting rather than judging the pitches.
– An entrepreneur name-checks Mike during their pitch in the mistaken belief this will help their chances.
Take a swig when…
– An entrepreneur name-checks Jason Calacanis in their pitch in the mistaken belief it’s still 2009.
– It becomes apparent during a pitch that the startup’s two co-founders despise each other.
– Either Mike or Erick invites the audience to testify that, remarkably, the hundred thousand dollar wifi is working correctly.
– A surprise guest appears, who happens to be running for office.
– Yossi Vardi awkwardly insists that the audience demonstrates its support of an uncontroversial point (“STAND UP IF YOU AGREE CAKE IS DELICIOUS!”)
– An entrepreneur tries to bribe the judges with pizza / cupcakes / coke and hookers. (Note: the latter will stand a greater chance of success in some sessions than others)
Drain your whole drink when…
– An entrepreneur tries to bribe the entire audience with any of the above.
– A startup battlefield company’s name consists entirely of real words, correctly spelt.
– Chris Sacca sings.
Drain your drink and chug an entire fresh one when…
– In a final act of hubris, a “super angel” declares his ascension to heaven, before leaping off his chair and taking out one of Mike Mortiz’s bodyguards as he plunges headlong into a table of drinks.
See you all on Monday! And remember: always drink disruptively.