F8 2018

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Weeks ago, I attended F8 2008. F8 is the tech conference of Facebook. In the tech world, it is usual to say a long word with the number of characters: F8 = Facebook. I remember the days F8 was pronounced as [feit], but everyone now calls it just [F-eight].

It is my third time of F8; I have been there 2010, 2011, which was a long time ago. Comparing to other developer conferences of other tech giants (e.g., WWDC, Google I/O and so on), F8 has been a small conference. It has been only one or two days event and space was limited. However, from the last year, it has been held at a proper place of the host’s power: San Jose Convention Center.

No over-night line for F8.

For a long time, the sanctuary of developer conferences has been Moscone Center, San Francisco. My last tech conference at San Jose Convention Center was GDC 2002. However, San Jose Convention center regains its glory days with coming back of WWDC. I’m not sure why they are returning. I prefer Moscone. Everything is convenient to access. Everywhere is within minutes of walks. However, it is true that the area is too expensive in these days for both attendees and the host.

The food was excellent with a lot of hot food selections. It is hard to prepare warm food for thousands of attendees, but the choice was excellent. Not only always-filled quality caffeine (I hate the ‘only decaf available’ time) in tank dispensers, but there were also many experienced baristas, and I can enjoy lovely lattes. The official after party was excellent (as usual for any tech-giant conference) with the Grammy-nominated artist Logic.

demo booths, short sessions, AR scavenger, flooding food
The after party

Several weeks already past and I don’t want to repeat all announcements here. I expected the mood of the event somewhat gloomy due to the Cambridge Analytica issue, but it was a happy event. I want to mention two things.

VR in Facebook is serious

Against other companies, I always feel that there is a kind of ‘grit’ in Facebook. My favorite was Occuls Go. Not because I had my free one, but I was impressed with their milestones and their intention to realize the dream. While many investors get pessimistic in these days, I felt that they have a clear goal to achieve, a detailed plan to get there, and the potential (and budget) to realize it.

The other thing was that they never talked about the money, their earning. Facebook has a robust business model: ad. Although there were some booths about Facebook ads, it was constrained and only for platform developers. They were trying to say just about how they can make more value to their users: the new features. To me, it was their confidence that they can make more money only if they can satisfy their users. And this is also the mission of my company; to let people concentrate on the value of their service without worrying about the monetization.

P.S.: To Apple. Although I couldn’t be selected for WWDC this year, please get back toasters for breakfast. The hard and cold bagel is too miserable and not proper to the name of the Apple conference.