26 memorable quotes from Disrupt San Francisco 2017

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26 memorable quotes from Disrupt San Francisco 2017

At Disrupt San Francisco 2017, top investors, tech figures and entrepreneurs took the stage in interviews with TechCrunch reporters. We heard from the likes of Sam Altman, Kevin Durant, Vitalik Buterin, Naval Ravikant and many more. You can find full Disrupt coverage here, and listen to the audio versions of all the panels here. Click through to see the more memorable quotes from Disrupt.

1/26

Fritz Lanman, ClassPass

On the heels of its $70 million Series C, an expansion to new markets and a partnership with Blink Fitness, the popular workout subscription service ClassPass is now beginning to experiment with variable pricing. The test was revealed by new ClassPass CEO Fritz Lanman, speaking on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF.

2/26

Sam Altman, Y Combinator

ICOs are emerging as a route for startups to raise money from a wide pool of investors through cryptocurrency networks. Now, one of the biggest and best-known accelerators in the world is mulling a way to use cryptocurrency networks and the blockchain to help get more people involved in backing their cohorts, according to its president. 

3/26

Andrew Ng, Coursera

We talked to Andrew Ng about what makes an AI-first company, his vision for an AI-powered society and the transformation of education.

4/26

Craig Barry, Turner Sports

Craig Barry, EVP and chief content officer for Turner Sports, explained the differences between esports broadcasting and traditional sports broadcasting, and how advertisers are getting creative when it comes to targeting esports fans.

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5/26

Justin Kan, Legal Technology Services

Justin Kan, co-founder of startups like Twitch.tv and Exec, pulled the curtains off his new tech platform for law firms, Legal Technology Services. The first law firm to use LTS is Atrium, co-founded by Augie Rakow and BeBe Chueh. Both launched onstage to bring a full-stacked technology-enabled law firm to startups.

6/26

Kevin Durant, The Durant Company

Warriors player Kevin Durant and his partner Rich Kleiman took the stage to tell the crowd about The Durant Company. While The Durant Company has made about 30 investments to date, Kleiman and Durant were hesitant to call it a VC firm. Instead they likened it to a private equity fund that takes stakes in startups like Postmates, but also hospitality companies and really anything that the duo thinks would be a good investment.

7/26

Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum

Vitalik Buterin sat down with AngelList founder Naval Ravikant to talk Ethereum. Because, well, Vitalik created Ethereum. Upfront, Ravikant asked him to explain Ethereum.

“You basically need to have some system that keeps track of how much money you have at any given time, how much money you have the right to spend,” Buterin said. “You can very easily do it with centralized servers, but if you want to do it in a decentralized manner, it’s actually a very hard problem.”

8/26

John Giannandrea, Google

John Giannandrea from Google had many great things to say about artificial intelligence. In particular, he thinks that people are too scared about general-purpose artificial intelligence.

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9/26

Ben Silbermann, Pinterest

Pinterest’s Ben Silbermann sat down with Matthew Lynley to discuss his hiring strategy, looking outside the bubble and staying a private company.

10/26

Heather Adkins, Google

Google’s Information Security Manager Heather Adkins has a pretty good track record. The company was last hacked in 2009, that’s why Adkins had some good advice for startups in the audience at TechCrunch Disrupt SF.

11/26

Steve Jurvetson, DFJ

We caught up with investor Steve Jurvetson about a wide number of things that are sweeping across the startup landscape (and might fundamentally change it), from ICOs to SoftBank’s giant Vision Fund to AI to Elon Musk’s new Boring Company.

12/26

Moxie Marlinspike, Open Whisper Systems

Signal’s at times elusive privacy revolutionary Moxie Marlinspike spoke modestly about how his secure text message app is taking over the world.

Marlinspike directly addressed the controversy that Telegram Messenger founder Pavel Durov stirred up earlier this year when he basically accused Signal of collaborating with the U.S. government.

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13/26

Herman Narula, Improbable

Improbable’s Herman Narula chatted with Josh Constine about the adoption of VR, simulating disasters in detail and avoiding worst-case scenarios.

14/26

Jenny Lee, GGV Capital

Xiaomi is one of the most valuable startups in the world and has become a big icon in smartphone design, sometimes suggested as an analog to Apple in China.

Xiaomi is looking to emerging markets like India in addition to getting its phones into the hands of consumers in China. Jenny Lee, a managing partner at GGV, said this is an intentional move for the company. Xiaomi, instead, should look to those emerging markets instead of even bothering with coming to the U.S. She also gave advice to startups targeting the transportation space. 

15/26

Sebastian Thrun, Udacity

Autonomous driving is often considered the brainchild of Sebastian Thrun, among a few other technologists, but Thrun is already looking to move on to the next mode of transportation — and he isn’t alone.

16/26

Lisa Jackson, Apple

Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson had a lot to say about the Environmental Protection Agency. She served as the administrator of the EPA during Obama’s first term, and she now thinks Donald Trump’s administration is causing a great threat to the agency.

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17/26

Laurene Powell Jobs

While traditional industries can get away with ignoring broader social ills or hot-button political issues, tech companies are expected to solve the former and speak out on the latter — a position that’s either totally fair or a too-high standard, depending on who you ask.

18/26

Bozoma Saint John, Uber

Uber’s first-ever chief brand officer, Bozoma Saint John, spoke about the challenges ahead of her in her new role focused on transforming the Uber brand. The executive, who most recently led the global consumer marketing division for Apple Music and iTunes, had only been working at Uber for a matter of days before embattled CEO Travis Kalanick resigned following the series of scandals that had been rocking the company, including the reports of sexual harassment and discrimination that resulted in more than 20 employees being fired.

19/26

Fritz Lanman, ClassPass

On the heels of its $70 million Series C, an expansion to new markets and a partnership with Blink Fitness, the popular workout subscription service ClassPass is now beginning to experiment with variable pricing. The test was revealed by new ClassPass CEO Fritz Lanman.

20/26

Sam Altman, Y Combinator

ICOs are emerging as a route for startups to raise money from a wide pool of investors through cryptocurrency networks. Now, one of the biggest and best-known accelerators in the world is mulling a way to use cryptocurrency networks and the blockchain to help get more people involved in backing their cohorts, according to its president. 

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21/26

Mike Lynn, Hound Labs

Josh Constine talked to Mike Lynn of Hound Labs about their marijuana breathalyzer and setting a standard for pot impairment through exhaustive testing.

22/26

Google AI on robot apo use

John Giannandrea from Google had many great things to say about artificial intelligence. In particular, he thinks that people are too scared about general-purpose artificial intelligence.

23/26

Luke Woods, Facebook

Facebook has been reportedly working on a video chat device and a smart speaker that would use a new voice interface, to compete against the likes of Amazon and Google in the race to control your living room; and it’s also been testing as a voice search feature for its app. The company’s head of design, Luke Woods, came out bullish on the promise of voice commands, squirmed when we asked him about Alexa apps and simply shut down with a series of no-comments on the subject of hardware that used a voice interface.

24/26

Maureen Fan, Baobab Studios

Maureen Fan of Baobab Studios talked to Lucas Matney about what’s needed for VR to take off, developing the semantics of AR and VR and evolving VR business models.

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25/26

Yuri Milner, DST Global

Without even counting massive potential sea changes like artificial intelligence or “flying cars,” as DST founder Yuri Milner says, the consumer internet is still on track to grow in value by another 10 times in the next 20 years — just like it did in the past 10 years.

That’s Milner’s “conservative” prediction, which doesn’t account for those massive revolutionary changes, which he gave onstage.

26/26

Eyal Hertzog, Bancor Protocol

It’s impossible to ignore the rush of ICOs in venture capital land. The new fundraising dynamic has helped companies raise more than $1.7 billion this year (to date). Huge sums of money tend to catch the attention, but experts in the industry argue that there’s far more to ICOs, also known as token sales, than simply the cash.

Eyal Hertzog, a co-founder of Bancor Network — which raised over $150 million via an ICO in June — told the audience that a token sale is a first step to creating new kinds of businesses that can sustain themselves independently, almost like a nonprofit.

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