Primetime for Techies
Outside the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco there were half a dozen satellite trucks. Reporters and producers, photographers and cameramen lined up around the entrance. Bloggers, tourists, curious passerbys and journalists not lucky enough to get a ticket to the event (and there were many!) dotted the sidewalk.
This was iPhone 5.
For weeks the rumors were swirling and the photos were leaking. It seemed everyone had caught the iPhone fever.
I spent most of my time in a satellite truck, feeding the video out to the bureau. It was difficult getting the full pomp and circumstance of the product unveilings with the shouts and cursing of producers and engineers in my ear. But it was clear from the shining and eager faces that left the demo area—the latest iPhone had hit its mark.
And what kind of tech-frenzied week would it be without an appearance from Silicon Valley’s favorite boy-CEO Mark Zuckerberg? Zuckerberg spoke at TechCrunch’s Disrupt Conference in San Francisco. It was the first time he had spoken publically since Facebook’s IPO back in June.
He took the stage with former TechCrunch co-editor Michael Arrington. As usual, Arrington’s questions were direct—asking Zuckerberg about the slump the company is experiencing and the impact on employee retention and morale.
I expected Zuckerberg to have a gawky, nerdy, high-pitched kind of presence. But I was surprised. Yes, clearly, there’s the nerd factor. But he spoke well—if a little fast and he had a sense of humor. We even heard a little something we didn’t expect; Facebook’s push into search.
The crowd—overwhelmingly young and entrepreneurish—ate it up. Clapping, whistling, tweeting and typing away furiously on Macbook Pros or iPads.
For the journalists and producers squished together on the sidelines of the auditorium, it was a chance to witness a little piece of something and someone larger than life.