The SF economy was humming at the Concourse Exhibition Center on Brannan Street last week, during the 3 days ofTechCrunch Disrupt. The cavernous, stretched-out room was full, plenty of milling around was going on around the exhibition space where a dozen or so startups had set up shop, and the action on the main stage, if you could see that far, was compelling.
I arrived in time to hear Barry Diller (IAC, Live Nation, Expedia) on the eroded value of IAC’s Ask.com and pleading for net neutrality. Diller told the crowd to “unleash the FCC” to help get broadband Internet service more developed in the US. We also heard from group purchasing site Groupon, announcing its new befuddling and oddly named social app “Grouspawn” – which sounded to some sitting around me ominously like a sequel to Invasion of the Body Snatchers. And we heard about PayPal’s new check acceptance feature, updates from Square and Foursquare about the rapid development of mobile payments, and “pull not push” technology-to-come in mobile advertising, with 4INFO, Groupon and Brand in Hand. ll contributing to my evolving view of the mobile payments space as one poised for great expansion as well as a boatload of interesting legal issues.