TechCrunch's startups' web sites suck too

OK, I just visited the companies Web sites of the finalists for TC50. They mostly suck too. But this time I’m going to put the blame on the conference holders. Why do they suck? Because lots of them are like this one, which just has a form up because they can’t reveal anything about themselves before they get on stage.

This makes me realize that it’s the conference organizer’s fault. They should work with the startups to make sure that the startups’ web presence — when the list goes out — is top rate and reflects well on both the startups and the conference itself.

So, in this first competition between Demo and TC50 both get a failing grade. I don’t think this helps any startup to have such a bad foot forward as first impression. Will everyone revisit this list on Wednesday? I don’t think so. We all have ADD and by Wednesday we’ll be waiting in some line at an Apple store for whatever Steve Jobs announces tomorrow.

That said, TC50′s site is better than Demo’s site because they took the time to explain a little bit about what each company will do and also how they’ll fit into the conference. I’m off to go to TC50, see ya from there if I can get Wifi.


TC50 will be live streamed as well
. That’s a win for startups because you can watch along from home. The show starts in a few minutes. Unfortunately Demo’s sessions won’t be live streamed. That’s too bad.

Comments

  1. Dropbox is fucking awesome.

  2. TadibM says:

    Pretty disappointed with the quality of the TC50 startups. Hope their live shows will blow me a way, but generally underwhelmed from the teasers and company bios. Others?

  3. Dropbox is fucking awesome.

  4. TadibM says:

    Pretty disappointed with the quality of the TC50 startups. Hope their live shows will blow me a way, but generally underwhelmed from the teasers and company bios. Others?

  5. Nathan Burke says:

    I went to DEMOfall 2007 and watched DEMO 2008, as it was streamed live. I can’t believe they’ve actually taken a step back from last spring and decided to go without streaming.

    Oh well, I guess I’ll cover TC50 instead. Score one for TC.

  6. Nathan Burke says:

    I went to DEMOfall 2007 and watched DEMO 2008, as it was streamed live. I can’t believe they’ve actually taken a step back from last spring and decided to go without streaming.

    Oh well, I guess I’ll cover TC50 instead. Score one for TC.

  7. Mark Grimes says:

    Wow, seeing that list gives me hope for some of the African based technology that’s being developed like: http://www.ushahidi.com/

  8. Mark Grimes says:

    Wow, seeing that list gives me hope for some of the African based technology that’s being developed like: http://www.ushahidi.com/

  9. Phil B. says:

    Robert,

    What happened to blogging off the beaten path, ignoring the hype du jour just to stirr up controversy and getting to the top of techmeme. Can you honestly tell yourself you’re still going that direction that you outlined just a couple of months ago? I liked that Robert Scoble much better.

    Phil

  10. Phil B. says:

    Robert,

    What happened to blogging off the beaten path, ignoring the hype du jour just to stirr up controversy and getting to the top of techmeme. Can you honestly tell yourself you’re still going that direction that you outlined just a couple of months ago? I liked that Robert Scoble much better.

    Phil

  11. I used to think that the job title ‘Director of First Impressions’ was too cute/dumb/pretentious. Just realised, looking at TC50 and DEMO, that it’s actually the job title everybody working in a startup must have.

    Startups, I am available for hire…

    I make your online presence work even harder than you do. For example, Scoble wore MY lgoo on his t-shirt for his keynote in Amsterdam at The Next Web: http://www.flickr.com/photos/also/2402277153/in/set-72157604469847357/

  12. I used to think that the job title ‘Director of First Impressions’ was too cute/dumb/pretentious. Just realised, looking at TC50 and DEMO, that it’s actually the job title everybody working in a startup must have.

    Startups, I am available for hire…

    I make your online presence work even harder than you do. For example, Scoble wore MY lgoo on his t-shirt for his keynote in Amsterdam at The Next Web: http://www.flickr.com/photos/also/2402277153/in/set-72157604469847357/

  13. Anonymous says:

    I decided to wrap up a summary of all the DEMO companies. List is at http://socialsofties.net/democom-achtergrond-van-de-72-bedrijven/ (intro is in Dutch, rest is English).
    Robert has a point, damn it’s hard to figure out what the companies are doing, what they’re launching. If I don’t get in 30 seconds I’m gone.
    If the text mentioned is very short then please note that there’s nothing to find on the site

  14. I decided to wrap up a summary of all the DEMO companies. List is at http://socialsofties.net/democom-achtergrond-van-de-72-bedrijven/ (intro is in Dutch, rest is English).
    Robert has a point, damn it’s hard to figure out what the companies are doing, what they’re launching. If I don’t get in 30 seconds I’m gone.
    If the text mentioned is very short then please note that there’s nothing to find on the site

  15. Austin says:

    Scoble,
    Grow a pair and quit edging towards Rossie O’Donnell status of socnets. Be a man and write real copy, leave all this petulent bullshit behind.

  16. Austin says:

    Scoble,
    Grow a pair and quit edging towards Rossie O’Donnell status of socnets. Be a man and write real copy, leave all this petulent bullshit behind.

  17. Lesley says:

    Hi Robert – I’ve been following the Demo v TC50 conversation here closely, and thought you might be interested in a prediction markets forecasting which one will come out top – TC50 winning hands down!
    http://www.hubdub.com/m14326/DEMOfall_v_TechCrunch50_Who_Will_Win.

    I also agree that the websites for the TC50 companies are appalling. Just because they’re in Private Beta at the bequest of the organizers, doesn’t mean visitors to their sites shouldn’t be able to get an invite, or at the very least, some information about the company or a way of contacting them. Poor show.

  18. Lesley says:

    Hi Robert – I’ve been following the Demo v TC50 conversation here closely, and thought you might be interested in a prediction markets forecasting which one will come out top – TC50 winning hands down!
    http://www.hubdub.com/m14326/DEMOfall_v_TechCrunch50_Who_Will_Win.

    I also agree that the websites for the TC50 companies are appalling. Just because they’re in Private Beta at the bequest of the organizers, doesn’t mean visitors to their sites shouldn’t be able to get an invite, or at the very least, some information about the company or a way of contacting them. Poor show.

  19. Jason Kiesel says:

    I personally pulled out of the TC50 application process because they wanted me to have a full featured product a month before the conference and then wanted me to sit on it! Sorry, but I’m a startup, not Microsoft. When I get a product done, it’s going out in a few days. I don’t have time to sit on it. I haven’t looked at the finalists yet, but I’m sure Scoble’s reviews will be accurate.

    Jason Kiesel
    Founder & CEO
    Freedom Speaks
    http://www.freedomspeaks.com

  20. Jason Kiesel says:

    I personally pulled out of the TC50 application process because they wanted me to have a full featured product a month before the conference and then wanted me to sit on it! Sorry, but I’m a startup, not Microsoft. When I get a product done, it’s going out in a few days. I don’t have time to sit on it. I haven’t looked at the finalists yet, but I’m sure Scoble’s reviews will be accurate.

    Jason Kiesel
    Founder & CEO
    Freedom Speaks
    http://www.freedomspeaks.com

  21. Dilip says:

    hey guys,
    There is an interesting talk organized by VLAB at Stanford Business school that I am attending. The topic is Lifestreaming: The Real Time Web on Sep 16th. FriendFeed and Seesmic are going to be there on the panel. Check it out http://www.vlab.org/article.html?aid=221

  22. Dilip says:

    hey guys,
    There is an interesting talk organized by VLAB at Stanford Business school that I am attending. The topic is Lifestreaming: The Real Time Web on Sep 16th. FriendFeed and Seesmic are going to be there on the panel. Check it out http://www.vlab.org/article.html?aid=221

  23. 9 Quick Tips to TC50 and DEMOfall Presenters…

    While I’ve blogged about my discomfort with the conflicting startup launch conferences (TechCrunch50 and DEMOfall), I still believe there’s plenty of opportunity on the table for the companies presenting. By now a handful of startups have …

  24. josh russell says:

    timing is everything, it would seem!

  25. josh russell says:

    timing is everything, it would seem!

  26. Fred Grott says:

    Scoble you lost all creditability now..sad..the site you pointed to was somewhat excellent in design execution and what they could convey at this time to the public.

    Go pick someone else to kick.. preferably not in high tech or start ups!

  27. Fred Grott says:

    Scoble you lost all creditability now..sad..the site you pointed to was somewhat excellent in design execution and what they could convey at this time to the public.

    Go pick someone else to kick.. preferably not in high tech or start ups!

  28. Jon says:

    Hey Robert,

    I’m kind of surprised by your critique. You’re giving us the MBA – marketer’s evaluation of new web products. You know, a lot of the young entrepreneurs out there didn’t go to business school but opted for a computer science degree. They are coders and software engineers, not marketers or sales people. So you can’t expect to see a message that’s as well crafted as you would come from a business school grad.

    But you know what? The nerds will create a better product most of the time. Look at the type of people that ran many startups during the first bubble. There’s a good reason why an MBA with a PowerPoint is no longer the most likely to raise financing.

    So the message might be off, but give these guys a chance to launch and start getting feedback from users. Getting the message right is a lot easier than conceiving and building a great product.

  29. Jon says:

    Hey Robert,

    I’m kind of surprised by your critique. You’re giving us the MBA – marketer’s evaluation of new web products. You know, a lot of the young entrepreneurs out there didn’t go to business school but opted for a computer science degree. They are coders and software engineers, not marketers or sales people. So you can’t expect to see a message that’s as well crafted as you would come from a business school grad.

    But you know what? The nerds will create a better product most of the time. Look at the type of people that ran many startups during the first bubble. There’s a good reason why an MBA with a PowerPoint is no longer the most likely to raise financing.

    So the message might be off, but give these guys a chance to launch and start getting feedback from users. Getting the message right is a lot easier than conceiving and building a great product.

  30. @JoeHobot says:

    Come’on Robert , people are trying to do their best no matter what kind of website they developed. I always give kuddos to people that build something on their own instead of using someone else’s work. But then I do agree with your critique because they do suck if we look at it from the business stand point.

  31. LiveCrunch says:

    Come’on Robert , people are trying to do their best no matter what kind of website they developed. I always give kuddos to people that build something on their own instead of using someone else’s work. But then I do agree with your critique because they do suck if we look at it from the business stand point.

  32. Business Bob says:

    Your honesty is not going to endear you to TC50 sites. You deserve some recognition for your constructive criticisms but I doubt they will be forthcoming!

  33. Business Bob says:

    Your honesty is not going to endear you to TC50 sites. You deserve some recognition for your constructive criticisms but I doubt they will be forthcoming!

  34. I know you are taking a lot of heat for posting negative reviews about a lot of the start-up companies that took flight over the past few days. Although at times you may be harsh, continue to be true and honest about your opinions. Many people have deemed you as less credible but I think that is BS. I believe the opposite in the fact that I think you are more credible, because I know if something passes your test it clearly is something to watch out for and you won’t be wasting my time.

    I hate movie or music critics who all they do is take big corporations money to promote their products and deem every movie or CD as great because the truth is they are not. Taking a strong stance will gain you more true followers, and the companies you listed their disadvantages should ask for advice in what needs to be changed and work towards addressing it, and I’m sure you will be more than happy to comment on the positive changes that they are currently working on.

    Craig
    http://www.budgetpulse.com

  35. I know you are taking a lot of heat for posting negative reviews about a lot of the start-up companies that took flight over the past few days. Although at times you may be harsh, continue to be true and honest about your opinions. Many people have deemed you as less credible but I think that is BS. I believe the opposite in the fact that I think you are more credible, because I know if something passes your test it clearly is something to watch out for and you won’t be wasting my time.

    I hate movie or music critics who all they do is take big corporations money to promote their products and deem every movie or CD as great because the truth is they are not. Taking a strong stance will gain you more true followers, and the companies you listed their disadvantages should ask for advice in what needs to be changed and work towards addressing it, and I’m sure you will be more than happy to comment on the positive changes that they are currently working on.

    Craig
    http://www.budgetpulse.com

  36. [...] So it’s Website still just a landing page. But if you are Robert Scoble, and think it sucks, there is a special link there for [...]

  37. Blogdude says:

    I appreciate your honesty and there should be more folks like you out there.

  38. Blogdude says:

    I appreciate your honesty and there should be more folks like you out there.

  39. Danny says:

    >Apple store for whatever Steve Jobs announces tomorrow.

    Really ? ’cause that was a whole lottta nothin’. Bet you will be in line though. You have nothing better to do, clearly.

  40. Danny says:

    >Apple store for whatever Steve Jobs announces tomorrow.

    Really ? ’cause that was a whole lottta nothin’. Bet you will be in line though. You have nothing better to do, clearly.

  41. JoeDuck says:

    Sure some suck but many of these are impressive. I give TechCrunch 10x the points of Demo for streaming the conference and their far better screening process …

  42. JoeDuck says:

    Sure some suck but many of these are impressive. I give TechCrunch 10x the points of Demo for streaming the conference and their far better screening process …

  43. I think that was a bit too harsh Robert :)
    Many a times it is imperative for start up creators to not display who is behind the scenes.
    Agree with you, TC50 site looks better.

  44. I think that was a bit too harsh Robert :)
    Many a times it is imperative for start up creators to not display who is behind the scenes.
    Agree with you, TC50 site looks better.

  45. [...] So it’s Website still just a landing page. But if you are Robert Scoble, and think it sucks, there is a special link there for [...]

  46. Christopher Coulter says:

    They can’t ever be good, if you only devote a 30 second attention span to them.

  47. Christopher Coulter says:

    They can’t ever be good, if you only devote a 30 second attention span to them.

  48. Chris B says:

    Robert,

    Have you always been a jerk? Wonder who was not able to attend the panel and they had to call you.

  49. Chris B says:

    Robert,

    Have you always been a jerk? Wonder who was not able to attend the panel and they had to call you.

  50. Anna says:

    Robert – what would be your advice on launching a startup – would you launch today or wait to launch at Demo or Techcrunch50? Is the media focus worth putting the website on ice for the 6/12 months before the next event or is this industry too changable that if your ready to launch now, you should do it?

  51. Anna says:

    Robert – what would be your advice on launching a startup – would you launch today or wait to launch at Demo or Techcrunch50? Is the media focus worth putting the website on ice for the 6/12 months before the next event or is this industry too changable that if your ready to launch now, you should do it?

  52. [...] Techcrunch50 today, and Austin did a great job presenting their product. I was interested in seeing Scoble’s reaction, and his comments/questions were mostly positive. Which is [...]

  53. [...] Robert Scoble, one of the TC50 judges, summed up his reaction (and that of much of the audience): “Finally, a Website that doesn’t suck.” [...]

  54. [...] TC50のジャッジのひとり、Robert Scobleが、彼の(そして多くの聴衆の)感想をこうまとめた、「ようやく、最悪じゃないサイトが出てきた。 [...]

  55. ep says:

    you do realize those are placeholder websites, not the real deal, right?

  56. ep says:

    you do realize those are placeholder websites, not the real deal, right?

  57. [...] Robert Scoble, one of the TC50 judges, summed up his reaction (and that of much of the audience): “Finally, a Website that doesn’t suck.” [...]

  58. [...] who have supported us. Be it by displaying the buttons on your sites, entering incident reports, to telling others about Ushahidi. Thank you to Knight Batten Awards for the $2000 award money and for the recognition to Ushahidi. [...]

  59. [...] 1)  Bloggers like Scoble may write that he really loves our website and let the world know, just like these two articles titled, Startups: your web site sucks and I reward innovation with positive reinforcement and support. [...]

  60. This list is filled with a lot of garbage, but there are plenty of good sites on there. Many of the sites require an account to participate so its hard to tell on the surface

  61. This list is filled with a lot of garbage, but there are plenty of good sites on there. Many of the sites require an account to participate so its hard to tell on the surface

  62. Justin says:

    Hi Scoble!

    I just came across your blog and was making my way through the first few posts when I got to this one. I follow TechCrunch closely and am constantly reading up on startups. The reason is because myself and two friends are working on a small website that we hope to launch at the end of this year. We all have regular jobs and work on the site whenever we can. Right now its in a pretty rough beta stage and if all goes well we should be ready to test by the end of the month. We are quite buggy and the layouts on a whole need a lot of work. But if you have time and are interested, please visit us and tell me us your thoughts.

    We are at,

    http://www.companyresume.com

    We appreciate any and all feedback!

    PS: We setup a dummy company to test. Its us! =) So please just search Company Resume on the home page, and that should take you to our company page. Thank you in advance!

  63. Justin says:

    Hi Scoble!

    I just came across your blog and was making my way through the first few posts when I got to this one. I follow TechCrunch closely and am constantly reading up on startups. The reason is because myself and two friends are working on a small website that we hope to launch at the end of this year. We all have regular jobs and work on the site whenever we can. Right now its in a pretty rough beta stage and if all goes well we should be ready to test by the end of the month. We are quite buggy and the layouts on a whole need a lot of work. But if you have time and are interested, please visit us and tell me us your thoughts.

    We are at,

    http://www.companyresume.com

    We appreciate any and all feedback!

    PS: We setup a dummy company to test. Its us! =) So please just search Company Resume on the home page, and that should take you to our company page. Thank you in advance!

  64. [...] posee información acerca de su lanzamiento. Pero si, como a Robert Scoble, la idea les parece horrible, hay un vínculo que puede [...]

  65. [...] So it’s Website still just a landing page. But if you are Robert Scoble, and think it sucks, there is a special link there for [...]