Style and Substance at Launch 2011

launchSpecial Thursday edition of mobileTech Tuesday, by Steve Guengerich

I’m in San Francisco this week with a couple colleagues from Appconomy at the Launch conference for the official announcement of our first app, Group{in}.

Other Austin companies here include Deed or Greed – deals & coupons site where users earn cash-back from purchases they and their friends make and then decide whether to keep that cash for themselves or donate it to their favorite cause – and LifeProof Cases, whose founders are announcing their products for phones and tablets today. You can watch them live on the Launch conference uStream feed, later today.

Speaking for Appconomy, it was gratifying to see people ‘get’ our pitch: that Group{in} is the first mobile app that really allows you to organize your work and personal life into the groups and people that matter to you most, i.e., your ‘strongest ties,’ while using the channels that you already use.

By simplifying group communications across these channels, including private in-app messaging, e-mail, SMS, phone Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more, we’re hoping that the typical busy professional will see how Group{in} makes working in groups *way* easier, instead of the time suck and chaos that currently exists, hopping in and out of multiple apps to communicate.

Like many other investor-related events, Launch has a panel of judges and brief Q&A session that accompanies its format. The judges’ comments have tended to widely range (with Appconomy’s pitch being a representative example of many others) from the substantive, about the product and size of market opportunity, to the stylistic, about pacing and other pitch basics, with a side dose of celebrity – actor Kevin Pollak was one of our panelists!

Personally, I think the judging quality and overall substance of remarks from the events I’ve attended in Austin – whether an ATI-produced event, like the Clean Energy Summit, or one by teams like the Capital Factory’s Demo Day – have been every bit as strong, if not more valuable, only because the insights and attention I observed those judges provide the entrepreneurs seemed so much more focused.

But, that’s not to take away anything from Calacanis and his core team. You can tell they have completely poured their guts into the Launch, making good on the commitment written into the presenter’s contracts that, among other terms and conditions, literally stipulated that “Jason Calacanis will personally loan you his masterful PR brain if you call him on his mobile phone at 2 AM on a Saturday. That number is …[left out for Jason’s benefit, but you can reach him via LinkedIn].  Seriously, Jason will do anything for you.”

From here, on to South-by-Southwest and what is sure to be an epic year for mobile apps – see you back in Austin!

Style and Substance at Launch 2011

5 thoughts on “Style and Substance at Launch 2011

  1. Melissa Simpler says:

    Thanks for sharing Steve. As CEO of Affinegy, I participated in Eric Ries Lean Startup last April in San Fran. It was a well orchestrated event with great attendance, and webcast around the world. I came back energized, but like you look around our community and am full of excitement for what is happening and about to come right here in Austin! Hoover, Metcalf, SXSW, Capital Factory. This place is buzzing and I'm a proud native 🙂 -Melissa


  2. Thanks Melissa. Having 'cut my teeth' in the manufacturing industry many years ago, I too am a strong advocate of many of the principles of lean that Eric and his colleagues have done a masterful job of adapting to startups. Bringing it back to Austin, though, just one more feather in the cap of the Cap Factory guys for inviting Ash Maurya to present on lean in Austin last September: – another example of the expert resources available for our many hard-working, boot-strapping entrepreneurs locally.


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