You only get to celebrate your first birthday once, and we partied in style on Wednesday as we hosted more than 500 of our friends at the first-ever GeekWire Summit & Anniversary in downtown Seattle.
It was a great day for team GeekWire, starting out with an amazing fireside chat with legendary software developer and entrepreneur Ray Ozzie and concluding with a heartfelt rendition of the Happy Birthday song by rock ‘n roller Dave Dederer of The Presidents of the United States of America.
In between, we discussed everything from the future of television with Hulu CTO Richard Tom to what’s ahead in the fast-changing mobile industry.
Throughout the day a theme emerged around innovation, with many of the big thinkers discussing how they stay on the cutting edge at a time of such enormous change in the tech industry.
Ozzie, the former chief software architect at Microsoft who now leads the Seattle and Boston startup Cocomo, said he focuses squarely on product development and taking risks.
“My aspiration is to keep building, to keep dreaming, to keep taking a risk,” Ozzie said. “When things get too comfortable, to shake things up, to put myself out there continuously in a way where I’m risking something that’s material to me. … I just want to keep building.”
Hulu’s Richard Tom said they try to keep the flame of innovation burning by hiring “hackers” and “builders” who work in small teams, pushing hard to create big ideas.
In the final panel of the day, Seattle entrepreneur and angel investor Hadi Partovi said he stays in front by learning about new startups and talking to people at a young age before they become cynical. And Jocelyn Goldfein, an engineering director at Facebook, added that they live by the motto of “move fast and break things.”
“That tolerance is the space you need to innovate,” she said.
We’ll be covering all of the panels and talks in more detail in the coming days on GeekWire, posting videos of the discussions and offering additional insights. Stay tuned for those reports.
In the meantime, here’s a photo gallery of the event courtesy Karen Ducey Photography.
A big thanks to the GeekWire Summit sponsors: Filter, Knoll, Tableau Software, InfoSpace, Amazon Web Services, Comcast Business Class, Microsoft Hotmail, Microsoft User Research, McAdams Wright Ragen, Protingent, Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness, Pixmob, Madrona Venture Group and Bader Martin.