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Day 1 of Techcrunch Disrupt SF and Umami Burger

September 18, 2017

Author: Bianca Yang
Email: ipacifics@gmail.com
Twitter: @xdrtxrdt

Today, I got to witness the glory of the Techcrunch Disrupt atmosphere. It was quite a useful and fun experience, and I look forward to the next two days of activities. I really appreciated the geographic diversity that was highlighted, with companies from Taiwan, the UK, Japan, Uruguay, etc. in the pavilion. The organization of the startup alley and companies participating in the startup Battlefield was rather confusing, and I never ended up voting for any of the competing companies.

There were some rather “unusual” companies here today. They were unusual in the sense that they tackle problems most of us would not be terribly inclined to discuss in public.

  1. Sheisorganic, a monthly organic tampon service.
  2. future family, a fertility care service with focus both on men’s and women’s fertility.
  3. Some others whose names I don’t know are a breastfeeding pump company and a company that uses facial recognition to find illicit content (seems mostly aimed at pornographic content) containing you online.

Future Family presented at the Battlefield today, and I wasn’t exactly convinced of their solution. Something about the way they answered a question about whether they are developing proprietary tests or repacking others’ tests threw me off.

None of the other companies really jumped out at me, but here are some I thought were kind of cool or thought provoking:

  1. Beeline, the smart compass for your bicycle. It’s a cute little device that I think I saw on kickstarter first. I think this could integrate well with Woole, the Waze for bikes that customizes routes based on difficulty of terrain and percentage of bike lane availability and other metrics.
  2. Brain Navi, a guided surgical robot that is currently targeted for neurosurgery.
  3. AlaMesa, Yelp for Cuba. This one got me wondering about how many of these software companies exist because the US version doesn’t yet exist in these geographies. It’s easy to catch up by copying. That’s how China grew so fast. They basically just skipped an entire development level of computers and credit cards skipped to the smartphone era. Chinese companies have had massive success internally, and China’s huge population means they have some time to go before they exhaust that revenue stream. But once you catch up, you’ve got to start innovating to stay ahead.
  4. Pi, a wireless charging device that can charge multiple devices up to one foot away. I think the implied limit was five devices.

After the conference, I went to dinner with a kid I met during the conference, Athisha Goh. He took a rather quick liking to me around 1pm, and we basically stuck together the rest of the day. I stupidly forgot a jacket, and was freezing to death in the San Francisco gales, so he kindly lent me his jacket as we walked to Umami Burger.

My primary motivation for eating Umami Burger was because I wanted to try the Impossible Burger. This is a vegetarian burger that uses less resources to make than a cow-based burger and that should taste just like meat. I was disappointed in the Umami preparation, but the burger seemed to live up to the hype. If you are going to eat the Impossible Burger, I recommend you look somewhere other than Umami if you like your burger’s not burnt and your fries not covered in a rather unsavory mixture of Japanese sauces and seasonings. I will likely not be eating at Umami ever again. Mos Burger, on the other hand, still has my business.

I am currently looking for machine learning or data science jobs. If you know of any such opportunities, please drop me a line. My data and info is on my website: http://xrdt.github.io

If you think you have a non-ML or data science job that would suit me, feel free to pitch me. I’m willing to think it over, but I will likely only seriously consider technical or research jobs.



但有些人,特別是 DHH,認為這樣是浪費青春。生命的意義不只是在這麽苦的日子下誕生。你可以跟他一樣,過一個比較輕鬆的生活,還可以鍛鍊出你的愛好。


我現在在找跟 機器學習 (ML) 或 數據科學 (data science) 有關的工作。你如果有知道什麼就業機會,請給我送個電郵,我的聯絡資料跟履歷都在我網站上:http://xrdt.github.io