TechCrunch50 after thoughts

TechCrunch50 is over, and Yammer (“Twitter for enterprises”) won the top prize. This was the first time I was actively following the conference and the livestream provided by UStream was simply outstanding. It was a rare opportunity to watch the demos live and listen to the Q&A with the panels.

If you are ever serious about pitching a product to VCs, you should do yourself favour and watch the video recordings available on the TechCrunch50 site. Nothing beats seeing other entrepreneurs doing it for real.

The Rich media and Games tracks were of most interest personally, and the trends of user generated content, collaborative workspaces, virtual worlds with developer APIs and in-browser experiences were obvious in almost every single presentation.

A few quick observations:

PlayCe has a neat idea with the mirror world model, where the 3D game spaces are built from real world data (satellite maps, GIS data etc). It remains to be seen if real world really makes for compelling game play experiences. The downtown of New York isn’t really designed for fast speed racing or Godzilla boss fights.

Atmosphir‘s “build your own 3D platformer” experience was very much an alpha version with plenty of promise. I was frankly surprised that the panel didn’t point out the obvious parallels to LittleBigPlanet, which is polished beyond perfection and due out this fall.

Bojam is collaborative space for musicians around the world. This was a concept with real legs and obvious potential to be used for live jamming, learning from pro players, composing and much more.

There was almost no Nordic participants apart from Burt from Sweden. This made me think. Would I want Everyplay to launch publicly among 50+ other companies coming out of the closet simultaneously? Obviously the group as a whole gets a lot of press, the networking opportunities are immense and if you do well, you are pretty much guaranteed to get a huge influx of users (this happened to Mint, the winner of TechCrunch40). On the other hand it’s pretty expensive for a Nordic company, the competition for attention is intense, and these events take place once a year.

Would I postpone a launch several months just to do it at TechCrunch or DEMO? Or would I show a hastily done alpha just to get it in time for TechCrunch or DEMO?.

No, I wouldn’t. But if the timing would naturally work out, then yeah, it definitely would be worth it.

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2 Comments on “TechCrunch50 after thoughts”

  1. Yes, competition is intense. Then again, why is this necessarily a bad thing? If a company genuinely wants to be the top of the crowd (and why would it not?) then competition is one way to test how good they are. It also pushes you forwards to make your product genuinely as briliiant as it possibly can be. Additionally even taking part (but not winning) gives you important hints: there is something you can do better. A competition is never the end of the story.

    Then again I’m sure you, through Assembly, are very familiar with the power of competition!

  2. jussilaakkonen Says:

    True. The only way to win is to be good, which comes to back to my point about timing. It has to naturally fit your ability to launch a great product at this very fixed time window. If you can’t hit the time window, the competition will eat you alive.

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