all the hard work pays off at Launch 2011

So the last three weeks were a bit of a blur. Very little sleep a night, rushing to get demo code into…well…demoable shape, Barcelona, London, San Francisco – but we did it.

Jason Calacanis (@jason), Tyler Crowley (@steepdecline) and the rest of the @launch crew put on a hell of a show. 2 days of continuous pitching and demoing. I was glad to be a part of it – though I have some quick insights for anyone else who goes through a similar exercise.

But first – here’s what happens when it all goes well:

(click here if vimeo video doesn’t show above)

This is the 3 minute speed demo and 3 minute discussion with @scobleizer, @westcoastbill, Adeo Ressi and a few others.
Weeks of work boiled down into one demo – so it’s great that the wifi worked and the product worked.
I believe we were the only team that did a fully live phone to phone demo – and it went off pretty much without a hitch.

Which reminds me – check out the AWESOME NEW UI and the meeting place suggestion feature.

Here’s the official (well – in-blog official) unveiling of the new UI – soon to be gracing the screens of iphones and androids everywhere (with symbian and blackberry following on shortly):

First the main map screen:

main map screen

Very slick – semi transparent top and bottom bar – The map is now the primary user experience – and it feels like far more map view – and then we have the main inbox:

main map screen

Let’s see here – reverse geocodes, badged icons, (as it happens these echoes swipe away – but we’ll leave that goodness for another demo), semi transparent popups on top of maps ;)

But the big drum roll is of course – meeting place suggestions:

main map screen

Yes. We managed to do it. Not only are we solving the “Where are you?” problem with one click – but we’re also helping people FIND, SUGGEST and AGREE to a meeting place – in 2 clicks.

But – I digress.

We were talking about @launch. We arrived in the morning and setup the stand in the LaunchPad – it looked something like this.
Well ok – it looked exactly like this.

stand - in launchpad

It’s waaaay early in the day on this photo – and everyone is getting their stand setup. On closer inspection you can see what’s going on here:

closeup screen

Honestly somebody should give Jay Freeman (@saurik) some friggin’ royalties here – almost every single iphone 4 in the launchpad was JAILbroken. How do I know this – because most of them were displaying their apps on HD monitors just like we were – and you can’t do that without Cydia/DisplayOut….because Apple hasn’t seen fit to allow it.

Funny.

(Btw the iPad is there as a walkaround demo pad – word of advice having tried this with phones – when you are demoing phone apps to more than one person it BLOWS – just use an iPad and 3 or 4 people can crowd around and see the demo. Sure if you have time everyone can try the demo on your one phone…but the iPad is great for events like this.)

Anyway – the big lesson learned for entrepreneurs is that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. So you got selected for an event like Launch. So you got your stand – and your cool demo and your business cards. PEOPLE WILL NOT COME AND JUST STOP BY YOUR STAND.

Sure some people might wander on by – but the people you need to impress will not. You have to go out and meet them, talk to them show off your stuff – DRAG them to the stand if you need to. Just show them demo.

Oh wait…make sure your product and your demo doesn’t suck and you can make a compelling pitch. Btw that’s @dondodge’s blog there – a shout out is in order to him as he became a big fan after seeing an in-person demo. (as did @DerekDodge – but that’s for another blog post)

Because if your product and your demo sucks – well then you just shouldn’t really be in the business should you.

Our best contacts at the show came from talking to Judges and Panelists directly, after or between panels.
Be polite but firm – and above all have your pitch down.
People want to see cool new ideas succeed – that’s why they are here.

Btw – when you’re speaking to people – watch their reaction – especially if you’re speaking to a group of more than one. (they are not robots so neither should you be) Don’t let negative feelings fester. Catch them early and redirect the attention back to your story.

Let’s see – a couple more things here – usage for echoecho is skyrocketing. It was doing very well even before launch but our twitter stream really fired up after my presentation and the growth is continuing. We’re processing 2 echo message a second.
That’s crazy fast – because we haven’t even officially launched yet.

It’s amazing to consider how far we have gotten 100% bootstrapped – however I have a sneaky feeling that some of the relationships we got @launch will complete our round very quickly.

Thanks again to the entire team – here’s one last photo taken by Vancouver’s own Kris Krug – I think I’m thinking “shit I hope the wifi’s working ;)

wifi

Thassit. Oh wait no – SXSW.
We were on again/off again with SXSW – but who am I to disappoint Scoble ;)
We’ll see. Cross your fingers and see what happens.

Last – but by no means least – here’s some online coverage we got as a direct result of Launch – Matt Rosoff covered us for Silicon Alley Insider – which was then picked up by SF gate and a bunch of other places.
Matthew Lynley covered us for VentureBeat. – The VentureBeat story got picked up by the NY Times also.

5 responses to “all the hard work pays off at Launch 2011

  1. Colleen Coplick

    Honey….i adore you. Tuck your shirt in.

  2. Well done Nick – particularly like the meeting place suggestion functionality. Could have done with that 2hrs ago :-) Definitely time to get using echoecho again

  3. Excellent presentation, Nick, and nice product. I really liked your B2C example.

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