September 2007


dimdim on stage at Demofall 07, originally uploaded by kathyjohnson.

DEMO is one slick operation. Between each presenter, upbeat music blasts out on an awesome sound system, then Chris Shipley comes on stage and briefly introduces the next company with a clever snippet that succinctly tells you why you should care. Then the presenters come on stage and have precisely 6 minutes to tell their story. Meanwhile, two giant screens project either the presenters or the computer screens on either side of the stage. This is then all broadcast live to the DEMO website so everyone around the world can see what’s happening.

This is a shot of DD Ganguly of dimdim on stage launching his company which will make WeEx history (dimdim allows anyone to hold a web meeting because it’s free, there’s no complicated software to download, and it’s easy).

Here is the team, right after the on-stage presentation. From left to right, it’s me, Prakash Khot and DD Ganguly of dimdim, Dominic and Andrea.


dimdim and Consort Partners at DEMOfall 07, originally uploaded by kathyjohnson.

When it rains, it pours. We’ve been immersed in work – stirring up publicity for five companies the last two weeks.

At the Techcrunch 40 conference, we were behind the scenes with two companies on stage – WooMe and Metaplace. We also accompanied Imagini in the demo pit. Both WooMe and Metaplace were on stage during the same session entitled “Entertainment for all ages.” I was quite excited that MC Hammer was one of the “expert panelists” that came on stage afterwards to provide opinion and commentary (see the photo in the previous post 😉 ) Apparently, Hammer is dabbling in the Internet these days which qualifies him as an expert on Web 2.0. Whatever the reason, it was nice to have a new personality in the crowd.

TC 40 was fun in that we were able to spend some quality time with old friends and also got to know new friends as well. It was fun to hang out with Mattias Ljungman of Atomico, plus we also met up with the Skype team, Niklas and Janus. We also had a great time with Jon and Andrew from the BBC the night before the event started. Thanks to Darren for the intro.

Our posse of entrepreneurs included Alex Willcock of Imagini; Raph Koster, John Donham and Jason Hable of Areae/Metaplace; and Stephen Stokols, George Berkowski and Steven Sesar of WooMe. On our side, Dominic, Andrea and I kept a watchful eye on the team, made sure they were ready to go with their on-stage presentation, and were lined up to talk to the press.

This week, we launched dimdim at DEMOFall 07. DD Ganguly and Prakash Khot of dimdim were working on the presentation and press release all the way up to the final moments and it all paid off. The blogosphere was abuzz with the talk about the WebEx challenger, but it escalated to a whole other level after DD and Prakash took the stage on Wednesday morning and declared “WebEx is history!” The crowd loved it.

The following day, we launched DECA, a new digital entertainment studio that will soon be announcing deals and distribution. It was great to Michael Wayne, the co-founder of DECA being compared to Michael Eisner, former Paramount Pictures president Gail Berman and former Yahoo Media Group head Lloyd Braun, comic actor Will Ferrell, and Hollywood producer Albie Hecht in the coverage (they have all launched various versions of digital studios in the last year). There will be more news coming out of DECA, so keep an eye out for this rising star.

Now it’s finally Friday – time to catch up on the thousands of magazines and catalogs that have been collecting dust and the 10 copies of old NY Times that I need to leaf through. I’ve also take more photos, which I will sort through and post.


Raph Koster (Metaplace), originally uploaded by kathyjohnson.

Raph Koster is a celebrity in the virtual reality and gaming world. He’s kinda like Steven Spielberg plus Walt Disney plus Steve Jobs in one package – visionary, creative, smart as heck, technical, entrepreneurial. Plus he’s a seriously nice guy 🙂

Raph took stage on Tuesday to unveil what he, John Donham, and his team, have been working on in secret for months. It’s Metaplace – making virtual worlds accessible for the rest of us out there in the real world. Easy, interactive, fun, customizable. Right now, it’s only in alpha stage, but later the team in San Diego will be opening the wrappers to more beta users.

There was an audio/visual rehearsal on Sunday night so everyone could make sure their presentations would work flawlessly when they went on stage. Here, on the stage, are John Donham and Raph Koster of Metaplace. Below is George Berkowski of WooMe readying his PC.

Andrew Web of the BBC films Raph of Metaplace for the BBC World News and the BBC Technology website. Check out the story here

…working the camera. Online speed dating and connections – here we come

 

Four days into his new job and he’s already breaking headline news. Here Chris Morrison snaps up Raph and Jason of Metaplace for his post on VentureBeat but ends up using one of my photos of Raph on Flickr.

Chris also wrote this piece on WooMe (using one of my snaps of Stephen).


James (GigaOm) snaps Raph Koster and John Donham of Metaplace, originally uploaded by kathyjohnson.

Wagner James Au, expert on virtual worlds and reporter for GigaOm sneaks a peak (and snap) of Metaplace at the Techcrunch 40 conference.

Check out the GigaOm article here


Andrea Heuer, George Berkowski (WooMe), Kathy Johnson (Consort Partners), originally uploaded by kathyjohnson.

The presentations are done – time to unwind. Here Andrea and I flank George Berkowski of WooMe who had to bend down to our height to fit in the pic.


Stephen Stokols (WooMe) and Kathy Johnson (Consort Partners), originally uploaded by kathyjohnson.

Stephen and I grabbed a refresher after his great prezzo on stage


Erick Schonfeld, Michael Copeland (Fortune), Kathy Johnson (Consort Partners), originally uploaded by kathyjohnson.

Caught up with Michael Copeland and Erick Schonfeld, both previously with Business 2.0 at the Techcrunch cocktails. Michael is now reporting for Fortune, but Erick hadn’t yet disclosed where he was going. The next day, we found out – he’s joined the Techcrunch team.


Mattias Ljungman (Atomico) and Kathy Johnson (Consort Partners), originally uploaded by kathyjohnson.

Mattias was here to watch over his portfolio companies and scout out new trends at the TC40 conference in SF.


MC Hammer & Kathy Johnson, originally uploaded by kathyjohnson.

You know I couldn’t leave without saying hi to MC Hammer and asking for his photo. And you know I did my usual self-portrait thing. I think Hammer was impressed with my skill as later he asked me to take a photo of him with another adoring fan who was having camera problems. Hammer time… da da da da, da da, da da… U can’t touch this…

Lars stopped off in SF this week, after a whirlwind tour including China (where he attended the Asian World Economic Forum), New York, then San Francisco. Just as Lars is flying around the world and meeting loads of new and interesting people, he’s also helping everyone (like you and me) connect to new and interesting people via his site Xing.com. It’s up to 4 million international members now and is the defacto leader in Europe. Just as the signs behind us say – he’s “Not stopping any time” as he’s moving “ahead” 😉

Lars stopped off in SF this week, after a whirlwind tour including China (where he attended the Asian World Economic Forum), New York, then San Francisco. Just as Lars is flying around the world and meeting loads of new and interesting people, he’s also helping everyone (like you and me) connect to new and interesting people via his site Xing.com. It’s up to 4 million international members now and is the defacto leader in Europe. Just as the signs behind us say – he’s “Not stopping any time” as he’s moving “ahead” 😉


Stephen Stokols (WooMe), originally uploaded by kathyjohnson.

Sound intriguing? Stephen, co-founder and CEO of WooMe, has been observing some trends in the real world and is bringing them to a PC near you…. I can’t say more than that now… more to come…

Alex is an extraordinary entrepreneur with a deeper mission than your average tech company. He’s discovered a way to allow people to find other people, places and things without saying a word. Is he psychic? Probably. But what he’s creating will help us understand more about ourselves, our partners, and our neighbors in Mongolia, India, Italy, and beyond. Check out imagini.net and try it out. It’s just the beginning.

Alex is an extraordinary entrepreneur with a deeper mission than your average tech company. He’s discovered a way to allow people to find other people, places and things without saying a word. Is he psychic? Probably. But what he’s creating will help us understand more about ourselves, our partners, and our neighbors in Mongolia, India, Italy, and beyond. Check out imagini.net and try it out. It’s just the beginning.