Building on my Gnomedex 8.0 Review, I am going to use the same style.
First let me say I wish I got to go to DEMO. I really didn’t like that these two were on the same date (please don’t do that next year, wag of the finger at TC50, kthxbai).
- The 51 Demoing Companies Were Impressive
Lesson Learned: Show up to the dance
- Going to a conference without my camera makes the conference more uncomfortable for me
Lesson Learned: Bring your freaking camera. iPhone photos suck.
- I spent a bit of Thursday hanging out with Ben Huh.
Lesson Learned: I Can Has is a traffic beast, and the owner is funny as they come. When pretending to be someones bodyguard, you shouldn’t introduce them to cat enthusiasts with startup ideas. Best quote from Ben was “Raising money is hard, I did it for a cat site with misspelled words, so eat it.”
- The Microsoft Team with Anand Iyer and Don Dodge are some of the best fans of startups out there. Perhaps it has taken me two years of knowing them to really say this, but they are consistently there.
Lesson Learned: Don’t judge a book by the cover, or a preconceived notion of a company
- I saw Mike Butcher, who wrote a less than kind piece about me at TechCrunchUK. We talked and came to a conclusion that it was a cultural difference that lead him to write the piece, and knowing what he knows today, he would have written an entirely difference piece.
Lesson Learned: Mike, I told you you were wrong. 🙂 Ok, really, startups suck at telling thier story, and at this point of SW I was really bad at it. I gave him the loop to write a piece that wasn’t an accurate portrayal of what was actually going on. Also, don’t write slasher pieces. I should take a note on that one.
- The most impressive companies were doing offline counterparts to their online sites. FitBit, Expensify, and Akoha are examples.
Lesson Learned: In crowded markets, seek innovation
- I went to Muir Woods for the first time because Hillary Hartley kidnaped me and made me. Then she made me go to In and Out Burger and drink wine at her amazing house with her beautiful wife.
Lesson Learned: Thank you Hillary, I needed that.
All in all, a fantastic conference. I met so many investors tired of getting pitched they didn’t even have the energy to say “Don’t Pitch Me Bro.”
Final thought. We can learn with BarCamp and BIL that the community ‘bottoms up’ approach to organizing can take hold and spread. If DEMO is evil according to TC, and TC puts on a conference that the average joe or blogger can’t get into, then an open and fair conference or movement will start that will aim to eclipse both, and it won’t be held at a conferece hall, it will be held in 200 places around the world. We are a startup community, and we need to support each other.