Thus, some smart and funny things are just bound to fly through the air during the 2-1/2 days of the conference, which is produced by Battelle's Federated Media and O'Reilly Media in partnership with UBM TechWeb. Just watching conference chairman and host John Battelle go toe-to-toe with Steve Ballmer provides enough industry pundit fodder for weeks.
Here were some of my favorite moments:
1.) 4Chan and Canvas founder Chris Poole lashing out at Google's and Facebook's approach to identity:
"Google and Facebook would have you believe that you are a mirror, that there's one reflection that you have; one idea of self ... What you see in that mirror is what everybody else sees. But in fact, we're more like diamonds: you can look at people from any angle and see something totally different."
2.) Mary Meeker, partner at venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers:
"More people have cellular signals than are connected to [an] electrical grid."
3.) U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, Oregon:
"I see the Internet as the shipping lane of the 21st century. It's going to be the way in which society is organized, the way in which commerce is done. I am going to do everything I can to fight off efforts that would in some way wall off the Internet. That's what the Net neutrality issue is all about. We've gotta make sure we have the free-est [sic] and most open architecture possible in order to tap the opportunities available, particularly at a time when the economy needs innovation so desperately."
4.) Napster co-founder, former Facebook executive, Spotify backer Sean Parker talking about how the digital age is turning musicians into something more like startups:
"I'm not sure why you would sign with a record label ... unless you are desperate for money and have a heroin problem."
5.) Flipboard CEO Mike McCue on why his product has done well, and his inspirational message to others:
"When you want to create a breakthrough product, when you want to do something totally new, when you want to create a hit, something that resonates with people, something that inspires people, where that emotion comes thru, you've got to be willing to back away from the data.
"Because after all, great content ... is art. And art creates emotion. And emotion defies the data."
6.) Ken Goldberg, professor of new media, robotics, and industrial engineering, and founder of startup Hybrid Wisdom Labs, which combines robotics and social media research:
"We have big data. We have big problems. It's time to work together to find big solutions."
7.) Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff on sentiment analytics:
"The most exciting opportunity in enterprise software that I've seen."
8.) Entertainer-turned-Entrepreneur M.C. Hammer before talking about how a new company he is backing--WIREDoo--will make search better:
"I have to be careful because I just saw Sergey (Brin) in the back."
9.) Google co-founder Sergey Brin on the idea that Google must start to stitch together its products and services:
"[We've had the philosophy of] let a thousand flowers bloom. And now they've bloomed and you want to put together a beautiful bouquet."
10.) Mary Meeker:
"Made in USA smartphone operating systems had 64% share from 5% five years ago."