Post-launch frenzy: What can you actually use?
Over 120 new products and services launched this week. We break it down and let you know what we covered while we were there.
There were over 120 different products launched in the past week and the sad truth is that you're only able to use about half of them.
I spent the greater part of Thursday dropping all of the launch companies from the TechCrunch50 and DemoFall conferences into a spreadsheet and making a note on which ones were open to the public--including technology you might not be running out the door to get, like Microstaq's silicon expansion valve (although it's cool--literally).
Here's what I found:
Of the 124 products between both conferences, CNET covered approximately 60 percent of them. You can see links to each product's individual or grouped coverage in the spreadsheet that's embedded below.
The TechCrunch50 actually had 52 companies presenting. An extra one was added at the last minute, along with the customary bonus pitch from demo pit winner iamnews.com. Of those 52 companies, 42 percent of them are now open and available. The other 58 percent are still in private beta or will have something ready later in the year (or in ).
In comparison, 67 percent, or roughly two-thirds, of the companies that debuted at DemoFall have public facing products or services, with the other 33 percent having closed alpha/betas or offering something later this year.
While wrangling up this data, two things became clear. The first is that Robert Scoble was right in that the great majority of the product sites are Web 1.0-design massacres. In many cases simply trying to figure out what a company had launched required going off-site and sitting through its live show demo video (hosted on either TechCrunch50.com or Demo.com).
Also quite a few companies had nothing about the new product launch on their press pages, many of which hadn't been updated in months. Considering most of these companies have had a day or two to pull it back together, it should have been easier for me, someone who looks at dozens of new sites a day, to be able to parse out the what, when, and how much of your latest product or service.
Compare that with something like Apple.com where the newest products are the very first thing you see when you visit. Sure Apple has more money, but considering many of these places dropped 18 grand and copied Steve Jobs' presentation style, some resources should have been put toward marketing outside that few minutes on stage.
The second thing is that TechCrunch and Demo's post-show launch directories offer a decent user experience but could be better. I'll give TechCrunch's site the slight edge for its less busy look. There's a URL to the company at the very top of each page, and a link to the data wiki Crunchbase, which pulls in related story links from TechCrunch's blog, and occasionally posts from competing sites.
Demo's site does a far better job at getting you in touch with people at the company, which could be more useful post-show to possible investors and members of the press. In either case, to find press coverage and reactions from other outlets you'll have to do some deeper digging either through something like TechMeme, or each company's press page.
Below is the list of all the products and services from both conferences. You can see it full screen here.