Last night I had the pleasure of watching John Oliver emcee the Crunchies. His opening monologue was only brimming not with attacks on San Francisco tech culture, but also how the tech world has loss its sense of geekdom (“Success has changed you,” he told the audience at Davies regarding a Spider-Man misquote to no one seemed to catch.) It was all in good fun — pointed, bitchy, accurate fun.
In part, he said:
"Why do you need an award ceremony in the tech industry? What more adulation do you... you already have almost all the money in the world. Why do you need awards as well after that? ... You’re pissing off an entire city. Not just with what you do at work, but how you get to work. "
He later declared San Francisco to be a modern-day Wolf of Wall Street "with 100% of the wealth, but only 10% of the sex."
As for the protest outside the show, it was a quiet affair. Not the bombastic call to arms I had imagined. One protester wore a glittery top hat, another carried an anti-Twitter sign. The mood died down as soon as the show started.
During the opening of the awards, SFCiti's Ron Conway commented on the tension simmering in the city right now. He told the audience that, although everyone inside Davies had helped cut unemployment in San Francisco by half, they must also act as leaders in housing and transportation.
Anyway, winners of the night were people with lots money — specifically, Bitcoin (Best Technology Achievement), Airbnb (Best Collaborative Consumption Service), Upworthy (Fastest Rising Startup), Zendesk (Sexiest Enterprise Startup), Edward Snowden’s NSA Revelations (Biggest Social Impact), and Uber's Travis Kalanick (CEO of the Year).
See the entire list of winners here.