The DEMO Dating Game

Adam Lashinsky of Fortune Magazine has a piece on DEMO that is worth reading.

He really captures the pulse of the event.

I tried to blog my DEMO experience and posted a bunch of times while I was there.

Clearly there was a lot of the dating game going on.  Guy Kawaski’s quote in Adam’s story is the most memorable:

"It’s a great event, especially if you understand the dance that’s
going on: entrepreneurs acting like they don’t need capital, and
venture capitalists acting like they don’t need entrepreneurs," says
venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki. Participants’ behavior at Demo, he
says, is a bit like "acting prudish in a brothel."

But for me, it wasn’t so much about finding a company to invest in as it was a great way to see "the market" in a couple days.  Chris Shipley does a great job of assembling a group of companies that are very representative of the most exciting new areas for investment and you can really get a feel for what’s happening by spending a couple days at DEMO.

Another notable quote in Adam’s story comes from Tom Shields at Woodside Fund who said:

"A lot of these companies could get picked up by Yahoo for $30 million,
a huge success for the entrepreneur," says Tom Shields of Woodside
Fund. Selling a company for only $30 million, says Shields, "would be a
huge failure for me."

I understand that comment having lived through that exact experience recently with Delicious.  But we view Delicious as a great success, not a huge failure, and I think the venture business needs to figure out how to make an entrepreneurs’ successes their own.  If there’s a will, there’s a way.