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TC50: 1 – Demo: 1 – Startup: 0
This post isn’t about all the mudslinging between Techcrunch/Mahalo and DEMO. It’s not about who wants to kill who, who wants cement boots for the other. It’s not about which conference is better for you to attend. It’s not about which conference is better for a startup to launch at. That discussion is not for now.
I am sure that both conferences are considered successes by the respective participating companies. Startup visibility is a great thing that so many of us work on daily. This post is about one issue we are now faced with: overload. As many of you know by now, Techcrunch 50 (my bet is 80 as a final count) is now going heads on with DEMO. Both conferences have one day "off" and then the other two days now overlap.
And you know what the mission to "kill" DEMO has done? It’s hurt the entrepreneurs that Jason was screaming and yelling about this morning on his chat with the fanboys. What about the DEMO entrepreneurs? They are now screwed as well. Why are 140(?) entrepreneurs screwed?
How will any of the 140 startups get visibility over the massive amounts of posts that will be put out over that 5 day span? From my perspective last year was tough enough as reporters were running from TC40 to DEMO and cranking out posts at an alarming rate. I’d suggest that CN’s coverage (and Webware’s) were the best from both events and it was already working close to 24 hrs a day with only one conference to cover at a time. Yet I will do it again this year and love every minute of it.
Can most blogs or even larger news organizations like CNET/NY Times afford to send multiple people to both conferences for coverage? Or will some startups just get limited coverage due to where they fall on the schedule of their respective conference? I am guessing if you are applying to TC50 you will want to be on the last day and for DEMO on the first day.
Let’s do some simple math:
60 press at each event – totally a lowball estimate
each press person will cover 35% of the startups
2,940 posts over the 4 days — this doesn’t include interviews, general coverage, networking/party recaps, etc.
How will readers even get a chance to review all of the coverage and try out the apps? Alright, that covers the press. What about VC firms? Will they cover both for the entire event? What about general attendees? I guess to some extent both events are forcing everyone to choose.
In a chat with a startup today, he wondered if any startups will just stay home and launch on their schedule so they can get the full blogger/PR buzz. For example, launch your startup tomorrow and you have 3-4 others to fight with for visibility. Launch at DEMO/TC50 and you now fight with 140 companies for visibility. In a later chat the startup’s founder said the best time might just be the week before both events – since 140 startups will be holding back, you might just be able to get a bigger bang? I sure hope that’s not the case and that both events provide better (much better) visibility.
Update: Jeremy seems to agree with the startup I spoke with.
It looks like I will attend DEMO the first two days, then TC50 the second two days. Better take the laptop in for a tuneup before I head to the west coast.
So to Heather Harde, Michael Arrington, Jason Calacanis, Chris Shipley (and whoever she is working with), ya’all need to get this straight. Remember why you created these great events in the first place. It’s about helping entrepreneurs succeed. All of us have the same end goal.