The film industry has the Oscars. TV has the Emmys. In high tech, the closest you generally come to that level of glitz and glamor is a bunch of geeks getting up on stage to demo their products for five minutes in front of a room full of other geeks.
Which is why the most promising startups in the world of high tech gathered to demo their stuff at eSarcasm 50, held at the luxurious EconoLodge Motor Inn and Day Spa in heavenly East Pompano Bay, Florida.
Unfortunately, some of the hottest start-ups we invited chose to attend a competing geek demo fest instead, the TechCrunch 50. (Note to those companies that blew us off: We know where you live. After copies of NAMBLA Journal and Boys in BVDs start showing up in your mail rooms, you'll be lining up to kiss our asses.)
A total of seven companies showed up; two of them were actually looking for a Dustbuster convention but were at the wrong hotel. (We forced them to get on stage and do a demo anyway. They were totally awesome.) Here then are the best of the
HipHype. You say you're a jowly middle-aged executive struggling to get funding for your start up after you got canned from your corporate job? Don't have a coronary, Gramps. Using Facebook profiles, Twitter accounts, and edgy blog commentary, HipHype can make it look like you're really a bunch of 24-year-olds in Chuck Taylors and designer eyewear. For an additional fee they will impersonate you at meetings with venture capitalists and help you pick up chicks.
PTrollr 2.0. The software uses a patented search algorithm* to help you locate overly broad patent filings, purchase them for a pittance, then sue the pants off companies that build products using technology that vaguely resembles the patents you now own. Recent discoveries include patents on how to boil eggs, operate a zipper, and use Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" button.
TwitWit. Even successful comedians find it challenging to be funny in 140 characters or less (@danecook, this means you). TwitWit promises to turn the most mundane tweets into wryly amusing bon mots, Seinfeldesque observations, and sidesplitting jokes. Your retweets will shoot through the roof, though your life will not change in any other measurable way.
RMNGL. Got a Web start-up with a boring name? The boys at the Random Meaningless Name Generation Labs can produce a new one using 100-percent organic techniques. For example, the microblog "Plurk" is named for the sound of an overripe banana hitting a cement traffic barrier at high speed. Or "Bing," which was generated by firing frozen betel nuts at a bronze bust of Steve Ballmer. RMNGL's fees will vary depending on the type of name requested, but discounts are available for companies that supply their own fruit.
The SuckMaster 5000. This industrial-strength shopvac can take the chrome off a bumper at 10 yards. It's especially well suited for removing forensic evidence at crime scenes, disposing of annoying family pets, and cleaning up after drunken, vomit-enriched tech conferences. Comes with Personal SuckMaster grooming attachments for removing unsightly moles and performing a 'Brazilian' with minimal pubic abrasion.
Of course, it was no contest. The SuckMaster Maestros won our $50 cash prize for best product and most convincing demo. That woman from Pensacola is still wondering what the hell happened to her Schnauzer.
* That patent is held by Google.
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