Thursday, September 28, 2006

Scoble Is Dead Wrong about DEMO

  esterday Scoble had a post about DEMO (in which he was responding to a post over on Webreakstuff).

The issue? The DEMO conference charges money to demonstrate. The question? Does that mean that DEMO isn't relevant, because only funded companies can go?

It started with Fred (of WeBreakStuff) saying:
I’d much rather go to an event where companies were invited for their merits instead of the money they can cash out in order to tell me how great they are.
Scoble disagreed with him: he thinks the fact that companies are charged to demonstrate acts as a filter (and he needs filters because he sees so many pitches).

They're both dead wrong.

First, Fred: Companies aren't invited because they have money. To participate in DEMO you undergo a rigorous application process and a very critical evaluation. When my company demonstrated in 2005, there were over 700 applications--and around 70 were accepted. That's close to an Ivy League acceptance rate! Chris Shipley and the team have a great eye for technology, and you have to pass their sniff test (and outshine the competition) to get in. Their track record is fantastic (products like Palm, Java, and TiVo were all featured at DEMO in the past--prior to their great success).

Second, Scoble (and this is really just a corollary to the previous point): money would be a crappy filter, anyway! There are tons of companies with bad ideas, bad products, and buckets full of cash. The fact that they could scrape together the $15K (or $25K or whatever it is) to go to the conference means very little.

The fact that a tech luminary like Chris thinks that these products may have the ability to fundamentally change their markets means a lot.

And that is why DEMO is a good filter.

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