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Why TechCrunch Disrupt SF Isn't Worth Missing

Photo via NY Daily News

Photo via NY Daily News

There are few events that showcase the world’s most innovative, bright-minded thinkers in technology today, and even fewer do it better than TechCrunch Disrupt. So when it touches down in the heart of San Francisco at the Concourse Exhibition Center on Sept. 9-11, it will be one of the hottest tickets of the year. And there’s plenty to like about the 2013 slate, which will include fireside chats with some of the biggest tech pioneers in the industry which, in the past, have led to some intersting visions and inspiring quotes on stage. This time around, TechCrunch will welcome Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and GoPro’s Nicholas Woodman to the event.

The 24-hour Disrupt Hackathon pre-event will kickoff the three-day affair, celebrating some of the most successful (albeit feared) hackers in the tech industry. But if you don’t like all-nighters, you may want to steer clear. With a colossal mound of pizza and endless amounts of soda and caffeine on hand, participants are asked to build (or code) the most mind-blowing things they can. Results have varied from smart door locks to hot-headed, knife-wielding robots.

On Monday, TechCrunch Disrupt will take over the exhibit hall, commencing with Startup Alley, where young companies from across the world will launch –many for the very first time–their fresh new ideas in front of hundreds of industry elites for a chance at the $50,000 grand prize and the coveted TechCrunch Disrupt Cup. This year, such international startups include initial.vc (Brazil), Enterprise (Ireland), TechNode (China) and YourStory.in (India), among many others.

But the best part of the event is sure to be the aforementioned fireside talks with TechCrunch Disrupt founder and host Michael Arrington, who’s been wonderfully brilliant about getting his interviewees to open up about the most enlightening of topics (last year, Arrington grilled Yammer founder David Sacks, who declared that there was no more innovation left in Silicon Valley). On Wednesday, he’ll sit down with Zuckerberg, Mayer, and Woodman, where there will be no shortage of topics.

Zuckerberg will be the main event. Hot topics will include everything from his ambitious plan to bring affordable Internet to millions of people around the world through Internet.org to the recent study that showed that Facebook makes us sad.

Moreover, Arrington will sit down with Marissa Mayer, who recently became Yahoo’s CEO this past year. And she’s already made waves in her first 12 months, changing the company culture, bringing in new talent, altering workplace practices (famously announcing that Yahoo employees can no longer work from home), and buying more than a half-dozen new startups, Tumblr being her biggest acquisition.

Want something a bit more adventurous? Be sure to check out GoPro CEO Nicholas Woodman’s discussion, where there’s sure to be cutaways to skiers jumping off cliffs with parachutes and other daredevil-type feats. But the biggest takeaway will be how he proved that hardware can still be a viable startup business.

He’ll be in good company as the Concourse exhibit hall will turn over to Hardware Alley that same day. The event will demo some of the more innovative hardware companies with a vast array of innovative (not to mention cool) gizmos and gadgets.

Don’t miss out on the tech event of the year in San Francisco. Tickets are on sale at the TechCrunch Disrupt SF website.  

Follow @NickTrenchard for your inside scoop on all things Bay Area tech