26 Sep Now the real work begins
For many who attended DEMOfall, held in Newport Beach, Calif., last week, the conference is a two-day window into the most innovative new technology companies. Two days to see great new products, meet entrepreneurs and network with the crowd. When the conference is over, these good folks head home with a stack of business cards and a to-do list of follow-up items, but for the most part the DEMO conference is over until February when we do it all over again.
Not so for the 65 companies that launched new products at DEMOfall last week. For them, things are just beginning.
As Samir Arora, founder and CEO at Glam Media, reminded me, each of these companies now must play out their fortunes in the marketplace, and in that regard, it may be months or even years before we can assess how well each company has done and how DEMO may have contributed to that success.
Glam Media, for example, won raves as a most beautiful aggregation of style and lifestyle media, luxury brand merchandising, and e-commerce. The site is gorgeous and engaging. The company has an ambitious goal — not just of dramatically changing the online shopping experience, but fundamentally shifting the demographics of online buyers from predominantly male to a more representative balance. I think Glam will do it; not on its own, necessarily, but by forcing online retailers to rethink the ways they present their wares.
One DEMOfall company that aims to help online retailers do just that is VirComZone. This company makes creating a 3-D virtual shopping environment a snap. This company will find success if it can capture the attention of business development folks at Yahoo, Amazon, and elsewhere, who can use the technology to differentiate their online shopping environments. Deals like this can take a long, long time, so for VirComZone, the DEMO experience is only just beginning.
There are other examples of technologies that got wind in their sails last week, wind that will take clever navigators to transition them from the choppy waters of an early venture to the smooth sailing of success. Will YackPack find the critical early adopters who tap the technology to make group communications most effective? Will ActiveWords become the de facto interface for navigation on a tablet PC? Can Tendril Networks and even the more established Echelon bring early customers up the adoption curve fast enough to finance their leadership in the still nascent wireless sensor network market? Will Digital Chocolate really change the way people play games in groups? The questions go on and on.
From my vantage point, I see tremendous opportunity and 65 companies poised to capitalize on it. And as they do – and even if they don’t – you’ll read about it here.
To learn more about each of the companies that launched products at DEMOfall last week, go to www.demo.com and click on the 2005 DEMOfall link to see videos of the companies’ presentations at the conference (on the right side of the home page under the “Watch DEMO Videos” link).
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