I was tempted to post a comment, but I would rather avoid directing his vitriol directly at our company at this point. DEMO is a HUGE commitment for us. 18K is nothing to sneeze at, and a substantial part of our budget. However, living in the midwest, it is very difficult to form the kind of relationships that occur naturally on the east and west coasts. DEMO is an opportunity for us to meet face to face with many people we otherwise we never get to meet, and have some chance of attracting attention. Who knows if DEMO will have been worth it - I'll let you know after it is over. Undoubtedly, it will either end up in a best-of or worst-of compilation.
And good luck at DEMO, I look forward to watching your video once it's posted.
Would Scoble have been pissed if he showed up at the Olympics in June and there was no sports going on?
Patience young grasshopper.
Don't worry he's not actually famous he's just tech scene famous, which is similar to winning the special olympics. Ask your Mom, non CS college professor, Grandpa or neighbor who he is. They won't know.
And I'd bet any CS college professor (that's any good) doesn't know who he is, either.
Also from my understanding, he used to be largely sponsored by Seagate right? I don't get what value he brings to sponsors - seriously. When Arrington or Fred Wislon recommend something I at least check it out.
When I think of Robert Scoble I think: "too many cheeseburgers, annoying perpetual laugh and bad writing" NOT "I better buy whatever he recommends."
What does he actually _do_? I still don't understand. As far as I can tell Robert Scoble is the Washington DC or Paris Hilton of the tech scene.
That being said, there's a ton of really talented people in the same area, just that most of them have either cashed out, work for Google or Apple, or are so busy building stuff that they don't have time to blog crap.
BTW: congrats to you and your brother for quitting your jobs.
Because he has several hundred feeds in his RSS reader and engages lots of individual bloggers in conversation. You'd think that if you started a new blog, you'd have to get it really big before guys like Scoble would link to you. But in reality if you start a new blog then Scoble will probably be the first one to link to you, because all he does is read blogs and link to the posts he likes. Then people link back to him and his own site gets popular.
The conversation, early adopter aspect Scoble brings is kinda cool. The throwing stones from a glass house aspect isn't.
Yeah DEMO blows and it's ridiculous to charge startups 18k to present - but obviously the startups saw enough value in it to participate.
I don't quite understand why Hacker News is giving attention to this guy.
If I were an investor I'd want to see a little something more than what I saw today.
Some of these companies are genuinely cool too, mainly the hardware startups like Adapx, microstaq, fusion-io. I also liked TravelMuse, GreenSherpa, Quantivo and Telnic.
Side note - I noticed that quite a few of these companies are based on the fuzzy social networking premise of "share this with your friends" (or "unified collaboration environments" as QTask so eloquently puts it) plus a twist (such as more security, creating lists, increased productivity or some revolutionary algorithm to share important info). The way I see it, this is a tough space to compete in. The twists usually aren't compelling enough for people to not only migrate over from the big players (facebook, myspace et al), but also convince all their mates to do so as well. One day a company may come up with something that is, but I suspect it'll have to be a big innovative step change, a game changer, not just small incremental baby steps.
The article conjures up a mental image of a high school student at a party who takes a shit in the punch bowl and expects everyone to be proud of him. Instead, everyone ignores him. (Let's be that "everyone", eh?)
Video can be a bit 'spammish' IMHO Sure, have some video tutorial or something linked off the front page.
I'm building a secure backup service. I'm not building a website. After signing up and downloading the client code, there's no need for people to visit the website.
Yes, a website says something about a company. I'd rather have a website which says "I'm too busy writing code to make this look good" than a website which says "I care more about looking good than about the service I'm providing".
It's a question of effectiveness, of if you'd be able to sell more effectively via a good website.
This site sucks, as in, its not fancy in any kind of way, but it does what it needs to do.
Another case in point is zlib (if you're not familiar with it, you'd be surprised at all the software that uses it):
So there is some REALLY useful software behind some sucky websites. Point: you don't ALWAYS need a super cool website to provide your goods or services.
However, Some of the sites linked are poor - it would be prudent to look at the sites linked in more detail (ie more than just a glance at the home page) before deciding to attack Scoble.
For example, the Plastic Logic (sorry if anyone here works for them, but I'm just trying to show something) is very poorly designed. I'm actually surprised that a company that is "technology related" would launch a new site that is circa 1995 web design.
Clicking through to the product page shows an image that is roughly 200x300 that takes an incredibly long time to load. Upon further inspection, it turns out to be 10 times larger (a 2.25mb file) that these guys uploaded and resized with html instead of resizing in a graphics utility.
I honestly don't know anyone who would do something like that anymore.
I think the way Robert handled his post could have been more professional, especially since there may be a conflict of interest with him judging at TC50, but he did have a point - some of the site designs were not in line with some of the markets they are trying to attract.
A potential customer might take a look at the site and think, "what's this? If they can't make a decent looking site why should I believe they can make a decent product?"
Taking the time to make a great website might not be something you're interested in, but find a friend or pay someone to make it for you.
That would be dishonest at the moment. :-)
When tarsnap is lucrative (which implies "after it gets out of free beta") I'll probably revisit the issue of website design. :-)
That being said, if you intend to sell your service to nerdy Unix sysadmins, not having a shiny website requiring all the annoying plug-ins probably is a good thing.
Websites that aren't catchy enough, because they don't have videos? Or they're not in English?
I would have taken to the article better had their been a bit of constructive suggestions to correspond with the general whining. But perhaps the rest of his articles always go over that kind of thing?
I don't know how much pageviews these startups would get without Scoble telling that they suck.
Scoble started conversation. Many agreed the thesis, many don't, everybady CHECKED. It is like mini DEMO for these companies. How this could be bad for them?