Our Pitch & Thoughts Post DEMO

So we got the video back from our pitch the other day and I just wanted to share it with y’all. Other than a minor hiccup with the fork button it went pretty awesome. And now for a little recap as promised…

As I had guessed going in DEMO was both the best and worst of things for us. On the best side it was a wonderful external deadline and a tremendous opportunity to get our first press and exposure with Upverter. And on the worst side it was an event with 80 participating companies, most of whom paid money to get press and launch their products. Believe that I have every interest in selling DEMO as the greatest and most elite event around. That we were privileged and special to attend. That only the best of the best launch their… But this blog and this startup just aren’t about smoke and mirrors, so here are my thoughts with that in mind.

When I originally accepted the scholarship offer and signed us up for DEMO I had very different expectations. I naively assumed that companies that could afford it would be both better positioned in their markets and well capitalized. I saw it as an event that the attending companies wrote off with the rest of their PR budget. I assumed Series-A’s and hardcore products. I envisioned it the way the event was started 20 years ago, the way VentureBeat still wants it to be.

But its just not that anymore.

In the world of lean startups and weekend launches press is free and plentiful for the worthy, its hard and expensive for the mediocre, and a company that spends 20K on press instead of product deserves to be mediocre. My advice to those that follow us is firstly spend the money on the product – dont buy press. And if you cant get press – there is probably a reason, and I doubt press will fix it. And lastly, even if you are like us, a company that could launch anywhere, one of the few that gets a free ride, just consider your other options – it was very valuable for us, but I think we lucked out.

Its too bad its all changed. Its too bad the event isn’t what it used to be. My advice to the organizers – decide on the reason, and if it really is to be the best then scrap the model and start over. Make it free. Better yet pay startups to attend. Only invite 20 or 30. Recruit the best startups in the world. And remake your brand as the place the best startups launch. Or hell just go the other way and raise the price – if it was good at 20K it’ll be bad ass at 50K…

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