Q: To qualify for LAUNCH 1.0, does the product need to be finished or near completion to apply?
A: Our goal is to have companies open their sites, at least for beta clients, at the event.
We expect that folks applying for LAUNCH 1.0 — especially those applying in December and January — will have only partially functional sites, so we accept screen shots/mockups and even wireframes for sections of the site that are not yet complete.
In your application, simply state: “Here are the pieces of the site that are complete, and here are the pieces that will be ready for the LAUNCH conference.”
A. It has to be a feature or product that GigaOm, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, Mashable, and ReadWriteWeb all want to cover. It has to be so new that Robert Scoble, Om Malik, Dave McClure, Chris Sacca and Michael Arrington say, “That’s f-ing cool!” when they see it on stage.
So, if Mark Pincus of Zynga fame launched a totally new game or a platform for playing games across all of Yahoo, that would pass the two tests above. A new crop in Farmville that would not qualify. If Biz Stone and Evan Williams were to launch the Twitter redesign, it would pass the first two tests above — support for Instagram photos would not.
Think to yourself, “Self, is this really killer and impressive?” Is Robert Scoble, Shervin Pishevar, Kevin Rose, Chris Dixon or Dave Morin going to tweet: “This rocks!”?
Q. If I’ve gotten a couple of press stories about my company, can I still launch @ LAUNCH?
A. If your product has been covered in the press, you are probably disqualified from the 1.0 competition. If the story doesn’t show or describe your product (e.g., “Jason is working on a stealth startup called Mahalo in the knowledge space”) that might be okay. If you only have coverage on your friend’s blog, we suggest asking them to take the story down and put your site behind a firewall that says only “[Company Name] – coming soon”
Q. If my website explains my product, am I disqualified from the LAUNCH 1.0 competition?
A. Yes. However, if no one has seen it yet
Q. Why must my product be new to launch on stage?
A. New products gets asses in seats. The press, pundits, VCs, angels and bloggers are simply not going to come to the presentations if the products have already been covered on blogs or on your website. We want people’s attention riveted at the stage so that you have 1,000 people watching when you launch LIVE. We do this for the benefit of all 40+ startups.
Q: How much time do companies have on stage?
A: Each company will have 5 minutes for the presentation and 5 to 10 minutes for Q&A.