Ending dull but starting strong day one at TechCrunch Disrupt
This afternoon I am at TechCrunch Disrupt in NYC, the conference is in a very cool space – an vacant office building, like most past TechCrunch events there are perhaps too many companies offering demos at small tables throughout the hallways and across the venue and in the main space there is a mix of conversations, interviews and short demos for a small panel of judges. All in all a great conference and format.
That said, the end of the day today has been a painfully weak panel of companies competing as part of the Disrupt Battlefield. Six companies who all had pretty weak presentations and buzzword heavy presentations which focused on the nitty gritty details of their applications but ignored what you need to pitch in a short demo, namely why anyone, anywhere would want to use the application, why it solves a real problem (which can be a fun one i.e. “make music”) and from that why they are a team that can deliver it.
Instead in the last session what we have been seeing this afternoon so far is just a bunch of technology without real problems or technologies in search of a real problem.
The first Battlefield session, in contrast, had many great and interesting companies, even the weakest of the presentations was better than the best of the last group.
All that said, there is a palpable buzz in the air here at Disrupt and a great selection of companies who are not all based in Silicon Valley. I am going to dive deeper in the companies that have presented here as well as the sessions which I missed this morning in later posts.
A few general observations and trends.
- Still lots of “me to” companies which are just a feature or a single application not always a real business
- A recognition of the problem but still too white male dominated in the sessions & judges (though not as bad as many other events)
- The iPad is the prize of choice (basically the only prize being offered for the countless and too many location based check-in games happening at the conference)
- Mobile is clearly a major focus with many almost all of the presenting companies having at least some focus on mobile aplications
- Some only in NYC businesses have presented here, for example a company which is a registered broker/dealer
More, much more over the next few days.