I was so excited to come to TechCrunch. They claimed it would deliver today what Demo delivered back in the day. TechCrunch was positioned to be the anti-Demo… not just about making profit for the conference owners, and just driving size, this was going to have the folks at TechCrunch filter out the 20 best and newest companies that we have not yet seen or heard of.
Well its almost 3p and I have been here since 9a and I am thus far under-whelmed. I believe they had very good intentions when they first thought up this conference. As originally envisioned it was a really good idea.
But then the TechCrunch people got caught up in their own hype and seduced by the $ opportunity. And over the last several weeks everything started to deteriorate.
First the participating companies doubled in size from 20-40. Were there really 20 more companies they found at the last minute that were worthy of presenting. Based on being in the audience today I don’t think so. But somehow that bloat happened. Oh yeah there are even more companies, yes more than 40, who are in the demo pit.
Then the audience bloats. I heard at first the conference was to be intimate and limited to 600 people (even 600 not so intimate IMHO). There were numerous reports on TechCrunch over the last few weeks that there were very few tickets left. Then when walking into the massive ballroom this am I was stunned at how many attendees were left standing (yes this is an all day event) on the sides of the room with no chairs, no comfort etc…One of the TechCrunch folks even proudly announced, as these people stood uncomfortably on the side of the room, “Wow we have over 1,000 attendees.”
Then the companies. Many have been around for quite some time. Many, I would guess close to half, don’t know but that’s my guess, have already received meaningful funding, even Series A funding from top tier VC’s .
And finally the production value/execution. Come on guys. You are so good Crunching on everyone else. If you are going to generate more than $3M in gross revenues off this event can’t you get better organized and have some production value. A few simple examples,,,,The host announcing that the schedule has changed and the Yahoo (yes Yahoo) demo would be after the break, then, less than 3 minutes later asking people to take their seats for the Yahoo demo. Huh? Numerous AV problems with presenters not able to get their A or V up on the stage. Host needs to read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charisma
Sorry guys but keeping it real. Just as you do.