Startcon is back and it's got a dire warning for disruptors

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Australian startup conference, StartCon, is back.

This year’s conference is looking at ways to disrupt the disruptors with its theme set as “Software is eating itself”.

It’s play on the now famous Marc Andreessen quote: “Software is eating the world“, which he used when predicting the rise of disruptive technology companies such as Uber, Facebook and AirBnB, and how they would transform industry categories.

Twist these words and these, once disruptive, companies are now eating each other, stumbling into each other’s markets chasing the next customer.

The disruptors are themselves facing threats from rising nimble competitors, established incumbents, increased regulation, growing pains, internal turmoil, dysfunctional board dynamics and conflict with investors.

In the $2 trillion entertainment industry, Apple announced a $1 billion content war chest to take a bite out of Netflix.

And Amazon is now venturing into live sports streaming with the rights to ATP Tour tennis and NFL Thursday Night Football.

Facebook has announced Watch, which lets you watch original videos on the Facebook platform – competing with cable TV right through to Google’s YouTube.

The conference will include speakers from Pinterest, SkyScanner, Dribbble, ClassPass, Moz and Segment and includes the largest startup pitch competition in the country with more than 100 startups competing for the chance to go the US to represent Australia in the Startup World Cup with a grand prize of $1 million in investment.

“With Alexa in our living room and smart computers in our pocket, it’s safe to say Marc Andreessen was right,” says Cheryl Mack, head of StartCon.

“Now though, we’re seeing a battle to stay at the top and supply the tech for all our needs. And we think Australian startups could be in a position to disrupt the disruptors as Gafa and the Valley (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, etc) focus more on each other.”

Freelancer’s Startcon, formerly SydStart, is at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, December 1-2. More than 4000 attendees are expected.

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