If you know of the tech world, you know about TechCrunch DisruptSF. It’s one of the biggest tech conferences in the world and is always portrayed on shows like Silicon Valley. I have known about the conference for years. You always have those individuals that you look up to- aspire to be like - in your field; mine have all spoken at TechCrunch Disrupt, so I was super excited to be attending the conference.
Thinker-Tinker was chosen as a TC Top Pick and got to exhibit in the Startup Alley. A section of the Expo Hall, the Startup Alley showcased the latest tech platforms, products and services. We were chosen as a Top 5 company within the field of Robotics, Hardware and IoT.
The team arrived on Thursday, October 3. I flew into SFO’s new terminal and it was so nice! It made up for the fact that I had to wake up at 4:30 for my flight . I hopped off the plane and made my way to the BART station where a woman gave me her pass claiming “it has like $10 on it still but you can have it because I’m leaving!” This was a sign of a good day!
A big thing about TechCrunch Disrupt is the celebrity of it all. Because it is such a big conference and so well known, many speakers are celebrities. One of the first talks I sat in on was with Maisie Williams, aka Arya Stark from the HBO hit Game of Thrones. Not only is she an actress, but she just created a mobile platform for creators called Daisie. It is a creative talent discovery app that allows creators to connect and showcase their work. The talk was interesting because it posed the question of how you can pivot and develop your brand in a way that encompasses all of what you do, not only what you have done. Maisie Williams is best known as Arya. Many people have followed her because of that role and she has claimed that she’s lost supporters since Game of Thrones has ended. People have underestimated her value as an entrepreneur since she is not “branded” as one. This had me reflect on Thinker-Tinker and our branding strategy. With our first product, Octobo, we have distinguished ourselves as an innovative educational toy company made for toddlers and young children. Octobo had been getting attention from its concept phase, and has been showcased around the nation in the last few years (read about our time at Collision here). Octobo, in some ways, has defined Thinker-Tinker. But how can we distinguish ourselves from our first product? Thinker-Tinker is more than Octobo – we’ve actually been working on our next release (more on that soon). It is important for us to show all of you the mission of Thinker-Tinker through all of our products and branding. We create innovative platforms to bring physical stimulation to digital play; and Octobo is our first line that showcases what we do!
Octobo was on display on Friday, October 4th. We showcased all the features of our first product and announced its official launch to market next month! Our soft-sensor technology and seamless connectivity and integration were definitely major points that got people’s attention. That afternoon, our founder Yuting interviewed with TechCrunch editor and shared more about Thinker-Tinker and how we are changing the way kids and families interact with technology.
The day ended with an unexpected on-camera interview with Voice of America and demos of Octobo as we were asked to take down our table. We learned a lot about our future customers and made great connections. Overall, TechCrunch was a good experience, but not what we expected at first...
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Jourdan Johnson, Product Specialist