The companies that stand out at DEMO are the emotive bunnies, the USB-charged AA batteries, and other things you can touch and feel. Of course, there are consumer web apps galore, and it’s my job to cover them. But a day later, it’s hard to remember which is which, and harder still to imagine any of them becoming a hit.
DEMO has a thing about blasting loud rock in between presentations that’s incongruous with the geeky, nervous presenters. After a while, you get used to it, but at one point they tried to tie together a segment on user-generated content with the song “Monster Mash.” There were seven companies in the section, and their redundancy combined with the blaring “It was a graveyard smash!” just says it all.
Next up were five social bookmarking companies in a section called “Tag, You’re It!” By the time we got to the fourth presenter, Add Me, an SEO company that has made a bookmarklet aggregator, I was overwhelmed. They are apparently trying to patent “a unified method for interfacing with content-collection services.” Another company, i-Lighter, has the ambitious goal of trying to build the online equivalent of a yellow highlighter and post-it note. People, these are extensions, not companies!
In the “self-expression” (read: templates) session, some stabs at business models were named: subscriptions, printed versions. In the “tagging” session, I’m not sure I remember the topic even coming up.
Time to get out of the graveyard and into the living.