Downtown San Francisco was awash in visionaries this week, when tech titans, business masterminds and creative icons met at the Serrano Hotel for this year’s Vanity Fair Summit. The event attracted the minds of everyone from Elon Musk to Lena Dunham, and attendees enjoyed stimulating talks, panels and of course, networking in the lobby.
The star-studded event was a hotbed for tech companies, both new and old. I grabbed an empty seat at a table with the likes of Jeremy Stoppelman, Dick Costolo, Nirav Tolia and David Spector to get the inside scoop on the event. Over white wine and shrimp appetizers, Stoppelman commented, “The talent and vision in the room is inspiring.” Dick Costolo added, “I feel like I’m at a TechCrunch hackathon, except everyone’s dressed nicer and smells better.” Stoppelman nodded: “It smells great in here.”
Tolia and Spector were also thrilled to attend, and Spector spoke of not only the talent but the ambition and genius of those at the event: “It’s great to take a break from killing it to hang out with other people who are also killing it.” As the gentleman dove into their lightly dressed salads, Tolia agreed, saying it’s “always invigorating to summit with other influencers in the sphere.”
Upstart Pied Piper was also in attendance. Founder Richard Hendricks was seen very briefly, and with his company’s recently launched app, it’s no surprise he didn’t have time for much socializing. Pied Piper’s VC Laurie Bream was seen chatting with Zynga’s Mark Pincus. Who’s to say what kind of momentous deal the two were making? With all the new faces in the room, one can’t help but wonder if the next Mark Zuckerberg is afoot? Or perhaps the next Mark Pincus? Both Marks were in attendance, so anything’s possible.