A Post In Which I Will Almost Surprise You – TechCrunch Disrupt is Coming

Microsoft has some amazing tricks up its sleeve for the upcoming TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco. Thing is, I can't tell you what they are.  I really want to be able to surprise you, and believe me, in a couple of days, I will be able to surprise you. But for now, I can tell you some other things. In the meantime, join our Facebook BizSpark page and you will get a direct intravenous feed of the surprises coming out in San Francisco in September.

In a spin on traditional marketing blogging, I am not going to give you the whole reveal. I'm only going to set the tone.  We are up to something at Microsoft. 

This post was written by Douglas Crets, Community Manager and Editor, Microsoft BizSpark

Today, I found out that BizSpark is listed as one of the top 100 Startup Experts on Twitter. That's good news, and it confirms what we suspected inside the organization -- that the constant conversations we are having with startups at events like TechCrunch and in the community pages on Facebook, and on Twitter, mean that some startup engineers, developers, founders, and just geeks in general, understand that we are not just a software maker anymore. We're actually actively digging in and getting our fingers dirty with some real startup work. 

Which is what will make Disrupt so fun.  But more on that later. 

We live in an area of the world where entrepreneurs like Kurt Warner are living in their cars as they bootstrap their companies. By the way, Kurt, did you hear about this new opportunity from DEMO, which is just for bootstrapped companies? Oh, yeah.  Taking risks. The spirit of entrepreneurship is all about making something new, doing something new, and creating your reality. 

Brett Raffel, one of our Audience marketing managers in Microsoft's DPE (Developer and Platform Evangelists) organization, wrote a news post last night about what some of our team members on the West Coast are going to be doing at Disrupt.  It's not just handing out Schwag Bags, as it turns out. 

Have you heard all about and read about Windows 8, but haven’t gotten the opportunity to interact with the new operating system in person? Now is your chance! We’ll have a number of slates available for anyone to try out and play around with. Have questions about how to develop for Windows 8? Or about what the actual market opportunity is? Or on the release timeframe or the tools and ample resources Microsoft has available to you? We’ll have our A-team of technical evangelists there to answer all of these questions and many more.

For my money, that's pretty exciting. But that's not the surprise. Remember, I said that in this post I will almost surprise you.


Here's the kind of stuff that really gets me going. 

I always look forward to Disrupt. That's where I met Sumaya Kazi, and began to learn about her crazy good app, Sumazi. It is around the perimeter of Disrupt that buzz about startups occurs, where people are exposed to that feeling that these are people who are literally changing the world. 

I love working in this space. Someone showed me a prototype of the new Square the other day. He handed me his phone and showed me a picture of Square being made in China. It's clear, translucent. You can see the gears in it. When I saw it, I thought, this thing is growing. And sure enough, American Express announced a deal with Square yesterday or the day before, showing that this thing is going to show up everywhere. 

And Ben Lang, one of the youngest entrepreneurs I know -- and I can't even remember where I met him -- was surprised to find in his inbox this morning an email from the Israeli Chamber of Commerce that announced the startup map he built

Do you  know what I love about this space? People not only make things, or products. Entrepreneurs make new ways of thinking. People notice. That is what we are tapped into at BizSpark. We're in this space where people will call us up each day and tell us about their company, or where I'll read on a blog that a major industry is getting disrupted, like the very industry of app building.  And even language, itself.

Keep checking back. We're up to something, too. 

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