NOTES:(Time Lapse Video of Flatiron Buidling at 23rd Street, Broadway & Fifth Ave., New York)
NOTES:Hello, and welcome to TEDxSiliconAlley.Today you will hear talks from 19 speakers from New York tech startups to establishedtechnology companies, and other leaders in New York’s digital media scene.They were each asked to share with you an “Idea Worth Spreading.”And they were asked to take their inspiration from a theme:
NOTES:The creative use of technology,beyond its originally intended application, with unexpected or unintended outcomes,that are either good, or bad, or possibly unknown.
NOTES:This theme could practically be a history of technology itself.And I’ll start of by sharing a couple of my favorite historical examples ...
NOTES:Percy Spencer was an engineer at Raytheon working on radar systems and he likechocolate candy-bars. While servicing a megatron the candy-bar in his shirt pocketmelted. He suspected the micro-wave emitting megatron might be responsible.So like any good engineer, he looked for more food.He then tested popcorn kernels in a paper sack.Within a year Percy had patented the Microwave Oven.
NOTES:Most relevant to us now ...In 1957 the Soviet Union successfully launched the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik.By day two, engineers at MIT had learned how to track it using a dopler effect.By day three, it occurred to them, that the technique could be done in reverse, leading tothe development of what we now know as GPS.Early versions tracked submarines, and guidance systems for ICBMs.Then to commercial aviation — Now to help find the nearest Coffee Shop.
NOTES:For a more contemporary interpretation, tech startups inherently understand this theme.As is often the case, when a tech startup launches, they find their users use their productin a different way than they had expected, and they must pivot their execution toaddress how their product is actually used.When Twitter launched, they didn’t bother. They just put it out there, watched anditerated, based on user behavior.
NOTES:And what was that theme again?Pregnant pause here to let audience consider:The creative use of technology,beyond its originally intended application, with unexpected or unintended outcomes,that are either good, or bad, or possibly unknown.
NOTES:And while we’re discussing the pivot ...What does Jack have to say about New York?
NOTES:So what is unique about New York?... That would be a long list.But we’ll have a look at a few industries and traitsthat differentiate New York from other cities, specific to our tech sector.
NOTES:Finance: We are the global center of the financial industry. That gives New York localaccess to capital ... in abundance.Media: New York is the center of the media universe. from News to Broadcast, to PrintPublishing and Periodicals, to the Music Industry, to Advertising. If Content is King, NewYork is King of Content.Fashion: What other city in the world can boast that its largest tech startup, with over$1B valuation, is a fashion brand? Alexandra from Gilt Group will speak here today.
NOTES:Here in New York we also have a local government that issupportive of our burgeoning tech industry.
NOTES:But to my mind, what really seperates our tech sector from other US cities is this:The US is a car-culture nation ... Raise your hands, how many people here arrived to thisevent driving their car? Hardly anyone.Yet if you asked that question at a tech event in any other American city, nearly 100% ofattendees would raise their hand.
New York Street Scene, Photo Credit: Derek Demeter BY-NC-SANOTES:Here in New York, we do things a little different. New York is a walking town.In a car you have an abundance of digital communications channels surrounding you;from your dashboard display, your in console stereo system, your OnStar, your GPSnavigation system. But when you’re on foot, you have this (hold up device) — yoursmartphone. And all the utilty of the multitude of communications channels in a car mustfit into this one device. New York City is the world’s largest smartphone market. There isa reason why a startup like Foursquare would originate in a city like New York.
NOTES:Mobile is the fastest growing media channel.And as of this year, smartphone now out-number all personal computers: there are moresmartphones in use that all of the desktops and laptop computers combined.The smartphone is now the dominant platform.And New York City is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this growth.
New York News Stand, Photo Credit: Virgelio Carpio BY-NC-SANOTES:Last but not least, New York has diversity. We are the world’s most culturally diverse city.Today you will hear from 19 speakers, we have Persians, the British are represented, aBegian, a Russian ... While an effort was made to have gender balance, there was nospecial initiative to have ethnic diversity — that came about as a natural result of planinga tech event in NYC.And this evening you will hear each of them share their own, “Idea Worth Spreading.”
NOTES:Now I would like to introduce to you my Associate Organizer and Co-Host, Kelly Hadous.