We’d been planning to wallpaper our dining room since the remodel, but hadn’t ever gotten around to it. Then, last week, Brooke had a new idea: Stripes. A few days of masking and painting later, voila! I think it looks pretty awesome. daryn’s blog)
daryn: salumi with no line and a little something extra thrown in.. must be my lucky day! (via Twitter / daryn)
google apps for domains + IMAP (finally) + iPhone + mail.app = very happy
I blog sporadically on VOX. I upload pictures occasionally on flickr.
sometimes, i tweet.
i use del.icio.us often, but only as a way to share my bookmarks between my different computers and accounts.
now it’s all here on tumblr (and it was amazingly easy!)
A few days ago there was a thread going on the Seattle Tech Startups mailing list, about whether DEMO was worth participating in. Having been there twice, I chimed in with a list of 7 key points that should be considered when deciding if DEMO is right for you. I received a lot of positive responses from the list, so thought I’d share it here as well.
Subject: Re: DEMO conference
Date: October 22, 2007 11:05:22 AM PDT
Like most things, DEMO is not one size fits all. Here are some of my observations from launching at DEMO twice: one being a dud, and one being quite a success.
Would I do it again? In a heartbeat, assuming I could handle each of the following points.
1. Have a consumer-friendly product that people can touch or play with immediately
- unless it is really sexy or honestly revolutionary, I wouldn’t bother launching an enterprise or b2b product there.
2. Hire PR assistance
- if you’re going to spend the $25k+ on the conference, spend another 5k on an experienced PR person who has done DEMO before. Have them wrangle the press and bring them by your table as well as setup interviews.
3. Be prepared
- have the product ready, have the pitch down, and be ready to answer all the hard questions.
- I agree with Clay from Yodio. Too much emphasis is put on the 6-minutes on stage. Truth be told, half the crowd isn’t paying attention, and if they are interested, they’ll come followup with you during your pavilion time. The pavillion is where you man a table, demo your product, and talk to attendees 1-to-1.
4. Know the audience
- the crowd is primarily investors, press, and other presenters. When talking to someone, check out their badge and structure the conversation accordingly.
5. Be involved
- this isn’t just another conference for you. It’s a big deal. Be prepared to spend 3 days, the full 72 hours, ON. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late night. Don’t hide up in your room working, this is in-person, buzz-building, and networking time. The other 71 hours and 54 minutes are WAY more important than the 6 on stage.
6. Bring a team
- your 18k includes 3 attendees. That’s the minimum number of educated people, who can pitch the product, that should be there (Someone who cannot pitch and field questions, or at least carry conversation until someone else is free, is useless)
- An extra one or two people can make a big difference in letting you not get burnt out, and being the most effective (walking the room, doing interviews, breaks, etc., while not neglecting your station)
7. Know your post-DEMO plan
- why are you there? to build buzz? to forge partnerships? to raise money? DEMO is not the end-game.
Why DEMO was a failure for MyPW:
I didn’t follow any of the 7 rules listed above. Leading up to, and during, the conference I was scrambling to finish building the service, juggling meetings, stuffing envelopes, and doing kinko’s runs. There were only two of us there who knew the product, and I was exhausted the entire time.
Why DEMO was a success for Eyejot:
We followed 6 of the 7 rules ( all except #7 ). We got great press (WSJ, USA Today, CNET, …), and lots of interest from attendees. I’d say at least half of the people at the conference stopped by, and recorded an eyejot to send to their family or colleagues back home. Our one flaw was that we had so much momentum leading up to DEMO, that we hadn’t spent much time focused on the post-launch, besides a development-roadmap. We definitely had the post-DEMO glow, but weren’t quite ready to follow-through with many of the leads we formed, primarily in regards to partnerships and fundraising, and the wave passes quickly.
That said, I still get “You guys were at DEMO weren’t you?” and it’s definitely a credibility builder. It has more broad reach and lasting power than a techcrunch post, but you need to give it serious thought, and make sure you’re committed if you want to get the most out of it.
Hope that helps!
(originally posted on my now-abandoned Vox blog)