On Location

The Kings and Crazies of Silicon Valley

Steve Wozniak, Nolan Bushnell, Maynard Webb, John McAfee light up the stage. On location at Silicon Valley’s can’t-miss tech conferences.

Apple Co-Founder, and all around nice guy, Steve Wozniak is scheduled to take the stage with Nolan Bushnell on Friday at the C2SV Tech Conference in San Jose.

Woz. Apple co-founder, and all around nice guy, Steve Wozniak is scheduled to take to the stage with Atari founder Nolan Bushnell on Friday at the C2SV Tech Conference in San Jose.

I’ll be on location today at a few, big, must-see conferences here in Silicon Valley. That they both should land on the same day is a bit of a Need for Speed hoot, and a test of the patience of drivers everywhere. Thank the lucky stars (and donors) for KQED and NPR. Fresh Air with Terry Gross anyone?

Wouldn’t you know: there’s quiet, followed by more quiet. Then–boom!–several marquee conferences all gloriously butt heads. My Google Calendar has gone to Tetris hell. This is going to be a busy few days here in Silicon Valley, as notable icons, musicians and other artists take to the stage.

Yes, there are several Kings.

Steve Wozniak, Nolan Bushnell, Maynard Webb to name a few.

And the Crazies?

Well, there’s at least one. Then again, maybe he’s the world’s most insanely brilliant marketer. It’s hard to tell with John McAfee, the wild card.

C2SV Tech Conference + Music Festival

The first event making waves this morning (and through Sunday) is the inaugural tech conference and music festival called C2SV.

That quirky acronym stands for Create, Converge, Silicon Valley… C2SV, for you hipsters.

I like the left brain/right brain premise. Essentially founder and noted Silicon Valley journalist Dan Pulcrano is asking: why go to Austin (SXSW)? After all, here we are smack dab in Silicon Valley, in itself a hotbed for technology, with a deep bench of creative thinkers and doers.

These mash-ups can be a lot of fun. Not only are they a good opportunity to learn, they’re especially useful for networking–and I’m told there might be a decent party or two. There’s four days worth of presentations and seminars, not to mention a strong lineup of musical acts scheduled to perform at St. James Park in downtown San Jose.

One special conference highlight will be when Steve Wozniak (watch, if you please, this short I made with a Canon DSLR about Woz and the history of Apple) and Nolan Bushnell take to the stage on Friday, in the cleverly named presentation “Finding the Next Steve Jobs”. Also, word is John McAfee will be granting his first public interview since the drama that unfolded earlier this year. Expect some kind of security-related product announcement.

Some of the topics I expect to be covered here include self-driving cars, the contextual age (guess who!), wearable computing, various mobile apps and social transportation.

I’ll try to pop into as many of the C2SV events as possible, calendar permitting, and report back on Stark Insider. You can read more about C2SV in Monica’s preview piece: Silicon Valley Hot List: C2SV tech and music festival featuring Robert Scobble, John McAfee, Brian Solis.

Changing the Game

James Cameron Talks About Avatar 2

Film director and deep sea adventurer James Cameron talks about AVATAR 2 at The Churchill Club in Silicon Valley. Photo: Stark Insider

Taking place at the same time, a few miles up Highway 101 is “Changing the Game,” a day long event hosted by the estimable Churchill Club. If you like engaging conversation and networking with entrepreneurs, VCs, and SV folks then this forum is a as good as it gets. I’ve seen many stellar speakers here. I remember when film director James Cameron had a Churchill audience riveted when he spoke about his passion for deep-sea expeditions… and space… and Avatar 2… and digital filmmaking… and 3D… and…

This year’s theme is “power” and its various expressions, “from personal, to organizational, to geopolitical.” Many visionary speakers are lined up including Sir Alan Collins (Nair and Co), Cory Johnson (Bloomberg TV) and Jack Porter (angel investor). Should be good.

The Churchills

What on earth are “The Churchills”?

It’s an annual awards presentation that draws inspiration from “extraordinary people.” The event will begin when the aforementioned “Changing the Game” wraps. Here, a winner for each of four categories will be announced: innovation, leadership, collaboration, and social benefit. The gregarious, legendary author Geoffrey “Crossing the Chasm” Moore will emcee.

Earlier this year I had the good fortune of being asked to be a member of the judging committee for the Churchills; though, sadly, I’ve yet to receive a Bowler hat–even after my wife dragged me into an epic Downtown Abbey marathon. Award recipients this year include Marc Benioff (Salesforce.com), the Mars Rover Team and–are you sitting down?–Tesla Motors.

I hope to see you in the Valley. And stay tuned to Stark Insider for ongoing coverage.

Now, I have to run. Must. Find. Nearest. Peet’s.

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Photo Credit: Clinton Stark / Stark Insider
Clinton Stark
Clint is based in Silicon Valley and co-founded Stark Insider. A new media venture, the goal was to fill the increasing gap in arts and food & wine coverage. This site has consumed his every fiber. Yet, he still has time to talk Android, praise Pebble, and shoot videos. More: Clint's story...