Not all that long ago, we were staring at spreadsheets, table layouts and sketch-ups, squinting our eyes and attempting to wrap our brains around all of it. On Friday, we popped by Fort Mason in San Francisco, to test drive ZBoard's latest and greatest electric skateboard, and things were already underway, the stage was being erected and banners with our familiar logo were draped everywhere. That moment, however, had nothing on the surreality of the following morning, when, bright and early, the companies began setting up tables.
Outside, a Tesla Model S was parked for test drives, and inside were a pair of electric Toyotas, one sporting a giant, decorative plug on its roof. There were big booths from Lenovo and Nokia, an Indie Corner jam-packed with and impressive displays like the the Ekso Bionics robot exoskeleton and Da Vinci's truly awe-inspiring surgical robot. Next to that, was Insert Coin, a gathering of all the semi-finalists for our first-ever startup competition, who had flown from all over to show off a truly diverse and impressive selection of innovation.
On stage, an equally diverse array of panelists joined us, from reps for companies like Google, Microsoft, Toyota, and OUYA, to 3D printing companies, roboticists, futurists, sci-fi writers, space explorers, indie gamers and a multimedia DJ / philosopher. Frankly, we're exhausted. And we can't wait to do it again. See you in New York!