There are two competitions going on at LAUNCH: LAUNCH 1.0 and LAUNCH 2.0.
The 1.0 competition is for companies which have not yet launched, and the 2.0 competition is for companies which have already launched but which are either launching a significant new version or a completely new product.
In order to qualify for the LAUNCH 1.0
1. There must be no press or blogger coverage of your company. This means no story in Mashable, ReadWriteWeb or TechCrunch. If your product is covered already, then it is launched already and you are disqualified from being in the LAUNCH 1.0 competition
2. You must not have demoed your product at another event. So, if you launched your product at a major public event, it can not be part of the 1.0 competition.
3. Your website, blog and twitter accounts must not explain, or have screen shots showing, what your product does.
In other words, to be part of the 1.0 competition you must show the world your product FOR THE FIRST TIME on stage.
Note: You maybe have a small closed beta of your product running, but it must be closed and the members of your beta must not be blogging about it. You are responsible from keeping your product private and closed. You may not pre-brief the press on your product launch, as we all know certain press outlets will break your embargo and ruin the massive excitement around your on-stage launch!
In order to qualify for the LAUNCH 2.0
a) Your must be releasing an amazing new version or feature to your product or
b) You must be doing a significant new product or pivot
An example of releasing an amazing new feature (a), would be when Twitter launched their redesign or when Facebook launched Groups. An example of a
feature that would not be significant enough would be Twitter launching something minor like their @earlybird deal account.
A good test for (a) is asking yourself “are our users going to notice the changes, and consider them significant?”
An example of a company launching a new product that would qualify include when David Sacks of Geni launched spinout Yammer at TechCrunch50–and won! Another example, would be when Phil Kaplan of
AdBrite lauched Spottt.
A good test of (b) is asking yourself “does this product have a new domain name, a new logo and/or a new business model?”