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John Cook and Todd Bishop interview GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving at the GeekWire Summit 2013.

From a fantastic talk with Rich Barton and Bill Gurley to a former Amazon exec comparing shopping to sex, the 2013 GeekWire Summit was one to remember.

Thanks to the more than 700 of you who came out to Thursday’s day-long event, where we enjoyed excellent conversations with industry leaders, great networking and tasty food.

DSC_1825In case you couldn’t make it out to downtown Seattle yesterday, we’ve got you covered. We’ll also have more detailed coverage from each speaker coming soon, so stay tuned for that. Big thanks to Kevin Lisota and Eugene Hsu for taking these awesome photos.

With words, pictures and tweets — videos of each panel are coming soon — let’s take a few minutes and relive the GeekWire Summit 2013.

9:30 A.M. — Q&A with HBO CTO Otto Berkes

HBO CTO Otto Berkes laughs during a morning Q&A at the GeekWire Summit.

The day opened with a Q&A featuring HBO’s Chief Technology Officer Otto Berkes on the future of media, movies, television and tablets. Lots of people wanted to know about accessing HBO content for those who have a streaming device but do not pay to watch HBO via their cable network.

It appears, however, that HBO won’t be making changes like that anytime soon.

“We have an extremely powerful and effective business model,” Berkes said. “It would not make sense to disrupt that unless the upside were significantly higher than any potential downside.”

10 A.M. — Future of Shopping and E-commerce

Mike Fridgen, GM of seller insights at eBay and former CEO of, Michael Smith, CEO of Full Circle Farms, Nadia Shouraboura, CEO of Hointer, Jane Park, CEO of Julep. Moderated by Brad Stone, Bloomberg Businessweek senior writer.

This was a star-studded e-commerce panel with Bloomberg Businessweek senior writer Brad Stone interviewing Michael Smith, CEO of Full Circle Farms, Nadia Shouraboura, CEO of Hointer, Jane Park, CEO of Julep, and Mike Fridgen, GM of seller insights at eBay and former CEO of

Shouraboura drew tons of laughter and applause after explaining why she started a robot-powered apparel shop and then compared shopping to sex to show why physical retailers will still remain in existence.

11:05 A.M. — Rich Barton and Bill Gurley Unplugged

Rich Barton (left) and Bill Gurley are interviewed by John Cook at the GeekWire Summit 2013.

You knew this was going to be a fun talk when Rich Barton started referring to bong water not two minutes into the conversation.

“First of all, this couch is from my senior year of college,” Barton said in response to a completely unrelated question. “I think I can smell the old bong water here.”

Zillow co-founder Rich Barton.

On a more serious note, Barton and Gurley shared a ton of great stories and advice about their experiences in the startup world, from Barton’s time as a co-founder of Zillow to Gurley’s thoughts on the Seattle startup scene and his praise for Jeff Bezos.

“He’s become iconic,” Gurley said of Bezos. “He’s clearly the most respected CEO [by] Silicon Valley, without question. If you’re running an e-tailing company, you should be afraid.”

We also asked Gurley about Twitter — Benchmark invested in the social network —  and when we might see an IPO from the company.

“I’ve not answered that question more than I’ve not answered any other question,” Gurley said.

Coincidentally, just hours later, Twitter filed for an IPO.

We’ll have more from this panel on GeekWire in the coming days, so stay tuned.

12 p.m. — Lunch 

Thanks to FILTER for sponsoring our great lunch.


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1 p.m — Future of Video Games 

Left to right: Glenn Walcott, president of social casino game maker DoubleDown Interactive, David Edery, CEO of game development studio Spry Fox, Ed Fries, industry veteran and longtime game industry adviser, Bonnie Ross, general manager of Microsoft’s 343 Industries, maker of Halo.

This panel kicked off with the awesome “Adventures of the Startup Kid” video from the team at Killer Infographics and was a nice lead in to a great conversation with industry vets about the future of the video game world.

DSC05626The panelists had interesting insights into the free-to-play business model that’s becoming more popular by the day.

Even Bonnie Ross, general manager of Microsoft’s 343 Industries, said that a free-to-play business model for the Halo franchise is not out of the question.

“I think you have to look at the free-to-play version,” she said. “But it is incredibly hard just to take a game and also make it free to play. You’ve seen a lot of people that have failed doing it … but you can’t close the door on free-to-play. You always need to look at where those options are.”

1:50 P.M. — Future of Creativity with Chase Jarvis

Chase Jarvis critiques user-submitted mobile photos at the GeekWire Summit.

Acclaimed photographer and fine artist Chase Jarvis, co-founder of online education startup creativeLIVE, sat down for a fun interview with GeekWire columnist Monica Guzman to talk about the power of creativity and how that’s changed over the years.

DSC_1949“I believe very strongly that creativity is the literacy,” Jarvis said.

Jarvis also had some strong words about the education system in America.

“Learning isn’t broken,” he said. “Education is broken.”

The chat wrapped up with a fun photo critique session, during which Jarvis broke down aspects of user-submitted mobile photos.

2:45 P.M. — Fireside chat with GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving

GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving.

Our afternoon panels continued with an excellent discussion with GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving, who talked about the transformation of Internet services and online business, and the direction of the tech industry.

Irving, the former Yahoo and Microsoft executive, talked about GoDaddy relaunching its brand, changing up its marketing strategies, moving away from being a domain company and focusing more on helping small businesses.

“We’re on a geek transformation of the company — who we serve, how we serve them, how we position ourselves and how our employees feel about serving our customers is really different,” he said.

He also touched on the company’s plans for an IPO, saying that “it’s certainly a possibility for us.”

3:15 P.M. — Hadi Partovi of

Hadi Partovi of

Entrepreneur and investor Hadi Partovi of spent some time speaking about the biggest challenge facing the computer science field, and how we can solve it.

3:30 P.M. — The Next Gen: Presentations from StudentRND

Students from StudentRND present their idea for Helpful Machines, a calculator for the future .

Next up was a special presentation by two top teams from the StudentRND technology incubator: Helpful Machines and SeaPerch Bellevue.

SeaPerch’s underwater ROV.

Helpful Machines is creating a graphing calculator for the modern world that features advanced math functionality, 3D graphing and a high-res touch display. SeaPerch, meanwhile, is a group of three Bellevue high school students hoping to inspire younger kids to engage in STEM-related studies with small, low-cost underwater ROVs.

Impressive stuff from the whiz kids.

3:45 P.M. — What’s Next: The Future of Innovation

Left to right: Wireless veteran Vern Fotheringham, CEO of the Bill Gates-backed Kymeta satellite broadband startup, Eric Anderson, CEO of Intentional Software and chairman of Planetary Resources and Space Adventures, Aldus and Visio veteran Jeremy Jaech, CEO of the @SNUPI wireless technology startup, Peter Lee, worldwide leader of Microsoft Research and noted computer scientist.

Our final panel, appropriately, was all about the future. We brought together four longtime executives and technologists to share their insights into the trends to watch over the next 10 years.

Vern Fotheringham, Eric Anderson, Jeremy Jaech and Peter Lee discussed everything from patents to Google Glass to what they think is the next big innovation in tech.

“I think in 2015 there will be a good chance that there will be a discovery in the quantum computing area that will win the Nobel Prize at some point,” Lee said.

6 P.M. — After Party 

After a long but fulfilling day of panels, we enjoyed hosting everyone at the GeekWire Summit After Party. A big thanks to Avalara for hosting this party with us on the Rainier Square rooftop deck.

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Thanks to all of you for attending, and a huge thanks to all of our GeekWire Summit sponsors for helping to make this event happen.

Gold SponsorsCobaltFilterWave Business Solutions, and Fresh Consulting

Silver Sponsors: First Tech Credit UnionKnollAppatureMailchimpMozFusionStormMightyCallVertaforeUniversity of Washington Professional and Continuing EducationAllovus Creative PartnershipsAvalaraZillowTicketmasterDavis Wright Tremaine, and R2integrated.

Supporting SponsorsMadrona Venture GroupBullitt CenterBootstrapper Studios, and PSAV Presentation Services.

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