Let's cry for the poor fragmented, underreported startups

Daniel Terdiman, over at CNET, is reporting that Demo and TC50 are potentially fragmenting their audiences.

Let’s cry for a moment for all the startups. Boo, hoo, hooo.

Back to reality. Any startup that looks at this as a loss should be refused funding.

First it’s funny that a CNET reporter is saying that. After all, CNET is one of the few organizations around that has the resources to attend both conferences. CNET should LOVE this because it gives them a HUGE advantage over 99.9% of other bloggers.

The way I look at it is that four years ago only 70 companies got paid attention to (I attended Demo that year). Now double that number will. Even if you only try out the top five companies from each conference that number will be double too. So, competition between two conferences is GREAT for startups. Any startup that says otherwise just won’t have credibility with me.

The fight between Arrington and Shipley has helped focus our attention on these two conferences (the LA Times even wrote about it) so now startups are getting even more PR than they’d get if there were only one conference. Keep in mind that each of the 70 startups on this list paid $18,000 to get on stage, so I’m sure not crying for Shipley’s business. Seems to me that it’s better than ever.

OK, now that we have the drama of the morning out of the way, let’s dig into the 70 demonstrators at Demo. TechCrunch will announce its list on Monday morning at 6 a.m.

If Shipley really cared about the startups she would have made each of the URLs in this list linkable. Here, let me do that. Then, let’s take the weekend and see what we can learn about each of these companies. What do you think of this group? Anything here catch your eye?

UPDATE: I just visited every one of these companies. Boy do they almost all suck (at least their Web sites and if their sites suck, I can’t believe their products are going to do much better).

Accordia Group, LLC; New Rochelle, NY;

Adapx, Inc.; Seattle, WA;

Alerts.com, Inc.; Bellvue, WA;

Arsenal Interactive, Inc.; Mountain View, CA;

Asyncast Corp; Campbell, CA;

Awind Inc.; Junghe, Taiwan;

beeTV; Milano, Italy;

Best Buy; Minneapolis, MN;

BizEquity Corp.; Spring House, PA;

Blue Lava Technologies, Inc.; Honolulu, HI;

Cerego; Tokyo, Japan;

Cinergix, Pty Ltd.; Melbourne, Australia;

Clintworld; Boenningstedt, Germany;

CoreTrace Corp.; Austin, TX;

crowdSPRING, LLC; Chicago, IL;

DesignIn, Inc.; Marblehead, MA;

Dial Directions, Inc.; Alameda, CA;

DOCCENTER; Omaha, NE;

Enterprise Informatics, Inc.; San Diego, CA;

Familybuilder; New York, NY;

ffwd.com, Inc.; San Francisco, CA;

Fortressware, Inc.; Mountain View, CA;

Fusion-io; Salt Lake City, UT;

G.ho.st; Ramallah & Modin, Palestine and Israel;

Green Sherpa; Santa Barbara, CA;

Infovell, Inc.; Menlo Park, CA;

Intelius, Inc.; Bellevue, WA;

Invision TV, LLC; Bethesda, MD;

iWidgets, Inc.; San Francisco, CA;

Kadoo Inc.; Washington, DC;

Koollage, Inc.; San Jose, CA;

Mapflow, Ltd.; Cork, Ireland;

Maverick Mobile Solutions, Pvt. Ltd.; Maharashtra, India;

MeDeploy; Hamden, CT;

Message Sling; Worcester, MA;

MeWorks, Inc.; Taipei, Taiwan;

Microstaq, Inc.; Austin, TX;

MixMatchMusic, Ltd.; Burlingame, CA;

Momindum; Paris, France;

OpenACircle.com; Dallas, TX;

Paidinterviews, LLC; McLean, VA;

Paragent, LLC; Muncie, IN;

Photrade, LLC; Cincinnati, OH;

PlanDone, Inc.; Petaluma, CA;

Plastic Logic, Ltd.; Mountain View, CA;

Qtask, Inc.; Burbank, CA;

Quantivo Corp.; San Mateo, CA;

Radiant Logic, Inc.; Novato, CA;

RealNetworks, Inc.; Seattle, WA;

Rebus Technology, Inc.; Cupertino, CA;

RemoTV, Inc.; New Haven, CT;

Rudder, Inc.; Houston, TX;

Semanti Corp.; Alberta, Canada;

Sim Ops Studios, Inc.; San Francisco, CA;

SitScape, Inc.; Vienna, VA;

SkyData Systems, Inc.; San Mateo, CA;

SpinSpotter; Seattle, WA;

Telnic, Ltd.; London, England;

TetraBase, LLC; Boothwyn, PA;

The Echo Nest Corp.; Somerville, MA;

tikitag, an Alcatel-Lucent Venture; Antwerp, Belgium;

Toolgether; San Mateo, CA;

TravelMuse, Inc.; Los Altos, CA;

Trinity Convergence, Inc.; Durham, NC;

TurnTo Networks, Inc.; New York, NY;

UbiEst S.p.A.; Treviso, Italy;

UGA Digital, Inc.; Taipei, Taiwan;

Unity Solutions, LLC; Clearwater, FL;

Usable Security Systems, Inc.; San Francisco, CA;

WebDiet, Inc.; Henderson, NV;

Xumii, Inc.; San Mateo, CA;

Zazengo, Inc.; Santa Cruz, CA;

Comments

  1. It does seem like the competition between the conferences has created a lot more awareness this year, that’s a good point.

    I agree with Ted Dzuba that some of these companies are just putting pretty Ajax widgets together (eye candy), it will be fun to see what kind of truly disruptive technologies come out to play.

    — Brian

  2. It does seem like the competition between the conferences has created a lot more awareness this year, that’s a good point.

    I agree with Ted Dzuba that some of these companies are just putting pretty Ajax widgets together (eye candy), it will be fun to see what kind of truly disruptive technologies come out to play.

    — Brian

  3. Maybe its also time for both these events to lookback and announce what happened to the earlier startups who attended these.

    Its a good check on their story + event’s credibility as well.

  4. Maybe its also time for both these events to lookback and announce what happened to the earlier startups who attended these.

    Its a good check on their story + event’s credibility as well.

  5. I think both conferences are bullshit. There used to be a day when just being mentioned on TechCrunch was enough to have you launched into everyone’s consciousness. Now you have to apply to this and apply to that and keep your business under wraps until they feel you should be revealed. Or even better yet you have to join some incubator and sell your shares to them before you even release your product. I say grow a pair and become a true entrepreneur and just building something somebody wants to use. I didn’t see 37Signals releasing TaDa at Techcrunch 150.

  6. I think both conferences are bullshit. There used to be a day when just being mentioned on TechCrunch was enough to have you launched into everyone’s consciousness. Now you have to apply to this and apply to that and keep your business under wraps until they feel you should be revealed. Or even better yet you have to join some incubator and sell your shares to them before you even release your product. I say grow a pair and become a true entrepreneur and just building something somebody wants to use. I didn’t see 37Signals releasing TaDa at Techcrunch 150.

  7. Actually yes – the ones with alliteration stick better (Best buy, Dial Directions, SitScape, SpinSpotter) … as do the ones with a fun name (Intellius, Message Sling … etc.)

    As subtle as it may be, I wonder how important a sticky name is? (in today’s info overloaded world)

  8. Actually yes – the ones with alliteration stick better (Best buy, Dial Directions, SitScape, SpinSpotter) … as do the ones with a fun name (Intellius, Message Sling … etc.)

    As subtle as it may be, I wonder how important a sticky name is? (in today’s info overloaded world)

  9. Many of these start-ups have names that are similar to established companies. And, speaking of which:

    Best Buy? As in the electronics retailer? Wha?

  10. Many of these start-ups have names that are similar to established companies. And, speaking of which:

    Best Buy? As in the electronics retailer? Wha?

  11. @brianhoffman I’ve launched at DEMO before years ago and Mashery did very well buying a table at TC50 last year, but the truly bottoms up approach is better if you can do it. That’s the approach we took at MyBlogLog and Lookery. It’s ok so far.

  12. @brianhoffman I’ve launched at DEMO before years ago and Mashery did very well buying a table at TC50 last year, but the truly bottoms up approach is better if you can do it. That’s the approach we took at MyBlogLog and Lookery. It’s ok so far.

  13. It looks ike money rules at Demo, no offense to Chris Shipley, who doesn’t really own it, but runs it. Otherwise, why would Best Buy and Real Networks be chosen? Trust me, these aren’t the startups I know and love.

  14. It looks ike money rules at Demo, no offense to Chris Shipley, who doesn’t really own it, but runs it. Otherwise, why would Best Buy and Real Networks be chosen? Trust me, these aren’t the startups I know and love.

  15. Hey there Robert,

    I hate how all of these companies get all of this press and most startups have to actually WORK for their startups to get going. I’m running 2 full time jobs right now to support the hosting for my new startup. I must say it is frustrating for me to see some of these sites which look like the creators really don’t know what they’re saying at all, and the sites don’t help at explaining the process of what they’re really trying to do.

    Keep the posts going man, I’ve been following you for a long time, both here and on twitter!

  16. Hey there Robert,

    I hate how all of these companies get all of this press and most startups have to actually WORK for their startups to get going. I’m running 2 full time jobs right now to support the hosting for my new startup. I must say it is frustrating for me to see some of these sites which look like the creators really don’t know what they’re saying at all, and the sites don’t help at explaining the process of what they’re really trying to do.

    Keep the posts going man, I’ve been following you for a long time, both here and on twitter!

  17. It may be a good thing for start-ups that there are more launch slots available, but it’d be better for us if the conferences were staggered so the press and VCs that don’t have the capacity to cover both at once aren’t forced to choose. There’s still plenty of value to start-ups to launch at either one, just a bit less than if we weren’t caught in the battle between the conferences.

  18. It may be a good thing for start-ups that there are more launch slots available, but it’d be better for us if the conferences were staggered so the press and VCs that don’t have the capacity to cover both at once aren’t forced to choose. There’s still plenty of value to start-ups to launch at either one, just a bit less than if we weren’t caught in the battle between the conferences.

  19. Good Lord, what would we do without your relentlessness, Scoble? I can’t believe you *made* all those links, let alone visited them, let alone decided they all sucked. And you know what? I believe you lol.

  20. Good Lord, what would we do without your relentlessness, Scoble? I can’t believe you *made* all those links, let alone visited them, let alone decided they all sucked. And you know what? I believe you lol.

  21. How can you say they suck if many of them don’t even have a website ope to the public yet?
    Jesus.
    The startup listed as “Best Buy” is obviously a mistake as it links to Giftag.
    This “post” is ridiculous.

  22. How can you say they suck if many of them don’t even have a website ope to the public yet?
    Jesus.
    The startup listed as “Best Buy” is obviously a mistake as it links to Giftag.
    This “post” is ridiculous.

  23. Although we responded to your inquiry blog post previously: Companies: has TechCrunch 50 or Demo spurned you?
    You forgot ours:
    Engago Technolgies, London, UK with LEADSExplorer

  24. Although we responded to your inquiry blog post previously: Companies: has TechCrunch 50 or Demo spurned you?
    You forgot ours:
    Engago Technolgies, London, UK with LEADSExplorer

  25. ep: I didn’t release this list. The Demo Conference did. They shouldn’t have released this list until everyone had their sites up. TC50 isn’t releasing their list until Monday morning, so everyone can have their sites up first. But, even then, that’s no excuse. You should realize that people might hear about your company before the list comes out. You should be prepared with at least a decent landing page that explains when you’ll have more info, and a little bit about your company (which you can do without breaking the Demo rules).

  26. ep: I didn’t release this list. The Demo Conference did. They shouldn’t have released this list until everyone had their sites up. TC50 isn’t releasing their list until Monday morning, so everyone can have their sites up first. But, even then, that’s no excuse. You should realize that people might hear about your company before the list comes out. You should be prepared with at least a decent landing page that explains when you’ll have more info, and a little bit about your company (which you can do without breaking the Demo rules).

  27. I visited all of their websites as well and I kept a notepad handy. I figured out what 5 of them were actually about and the product they were introducing but Robert your right they all pretty much sucked.

  28. I visited all of their websites as well and I kept a notepad handy. I figured out what 5 of them were actually about and the product they were introducing but Robert your right they all pretty much sucked.

  29. I’m not taking sides between TC50 and DEMO, but before everyone gets all uppity at Shipley about revenue (probably too late), don’t forget that TC50 has generated over FIVE MILLION DOLLARS of revenue so far, and that’s not including sponsorships. You can cry foul about either business model, but make no mistake – they are both businesses.

  30. I’m not taking sides between TC50 and DEMO, but before everyone gets all uppity at Shipley about revenue (probably too late), don’t forget that TC50 has generated over FIVE MILLION DOLLARS of revenue so far, and that’s not including sponsorships. You can cry foul about either business model, but make no mistake – they are both businesses.

  31. Wow, couldn’t agree more. Even for the sites that did fall under the “suckness” tag the services were lame; they sounded like bad TV pitch men: “Let me show YOU how to better handle your online media”. Yawn.

  32. Wow, couldn’t agree more. Even for the sites that did fall under the “suckness” tag the services were lame; they sounded like bad TV pitch men: “Let me show YOU how to better handle your online media”. Yawn.

  33. I think that these companies are pre-launch and their company sites are of limited importance.
    Lets take a little walk back to the first versions of Scobleizer.com, thinking about that how are you going to judge these site?
    Come on Scoble, give’m a chance.

  34. I think that these companies are pre-launch and their company sites are of limited importance.
    Lets take a little walk back to the first versions of Scobleizer.com, thinking about that how are you going to judge these site?
    Come on Scoble, give’m a chance.

  35. Some sites aren’t that great and some products are lackluster, but I’d hate to think that you’d misuse your own popularity to sink what could be good initiatives with constructive criticism instead of what you’ve done. Even when you appended ‘I just visited every one of these companies. Boy do they almost all suck (at least their Web sites and if their sites suck, I can’t believe their products are going to do much better).’, you really don’t say too awful much… I mean… which ones did you think didn’t suck, and why? And why lump them all together without differentiating?

    You can do better than this – and you should.

  36. Some sites aren’t that great and some products are lackluster, but I’d hate to think that you’d misuse your own popularity to sink what could be good initiatives with constructive criticism instead of what you’ve done. Even when you appended ‘I just visited every one of these companies. Boy do they almost all suck (at least their Web sites and if their sites suck, I can’t believe their products are going to do much better).’, you really don’t say too awful much… I mean… which ones did you think didn’t suck, and why? And why lump them all together without differentiating?

    You can do better than this – and you should.

  37. Given all the dogfight between the two events, the ones who wiil certainly lose are the startups (look at the bitching going about the demo startups – am sure TC ones will also go thru’ the same).
    I mean what the heck do these guys (demo/tc) think of startups? Isn’t this ‘hold on the new site till we give a green signal’ a sort of parade?

    Startups – time to go back and execute on your plan.

  38. Given all the dogfight between the two events, the ones who wiil certainly lose are the startups (look at the bitching going about the demo startups – am sure TC ones will also go thru’ the same).
    I mean what the heck do these guys (demo/tc) think of startups? Isn’t this ‘hold on the new site till we give a green signal’ a sort of parade?

    Startups – time to go back and execute on your plan.

  39. This is a pretty dismal list of startups. True, there are a number still behind closed doors, but I’m feeling less than inspired by even the names being chosen. I haven’t seen anything interesting in any of these, and certainly nothing new.

  40. This is a pretty dismal list of startups. True, there are a number still behind closed doors, but I’m feeling less than inspired by even the names being chosen. I haven’t seen anything interesting in any of these, and certainly nothing new.

  41. I just visited several of the sites and am confused by your definition of “suck.” Yeah a COUPLE of them were an eye sore but MOST of the sites I checked out where clean, professional looking and I understood what they company did relatively quickly. Most had pretty easy to understand video explanation or online demos. What exactly where you hoping the website would do?

  42. I just visited several of the sites and am confused by your definition of “suck.” Yeah a COUPLE of them were an eye sore but MOST of the sites I checked out where clean, professional looking and I understood what they company did relatively quickly. Most had pretty easy to understand video explanation or online demos. What exactly where you hoping the website would do?

  43. [...] Actually, the issue goes much deeper, it is not that there are going to be a bunch of startups that paid a lot of money to get on stage and show off their product, even if it is just another way to poke someone on a social network. The TC50 and Demo are coinciding this year, which makes it even more interesting for the startups, two shows, same time, both are “must attend events”. [...]

  44. Good but what would we do without your relentlessness, Scoble? I can't believe you made all those links, let alone visited them, let alone decided they all sucked.

  45. Good but what would we do without your relentlessness, Scoble? I can't believe you made all those links, let alone visited them, let alone decided they all sucked.