It seemed like clever little bait. Mounds of chocolate sitting openly on tables. Cupcakes purposefully decorated with company names and logos. Candy sorted and given out to attendees as though it was already Halloween. Every trick to seduce and bait the attendees was executed to gain attention by competing companies in Startup Alley at Disrupt 2012. Yes, the cupcakes were good enough to endure dizzying conversations about a company's features and 'brilliant' idea. To be honest, I wasn't blown away by any of the companies showcased in startup alley or on the main stage. Often I smiled politely, grabbed by cookie or cupcake and looked for the next good snack.
By the mid-afternoon of the first day, I was getting weary. I wasn't sure if I would find anything to write about. I was already a little unimpressed with the horrible interviews and was asking myself why so many "writers" were on stage. Some were making introductions. Others were conducting interviews, but let me tell you, interviewing and writing are not the same thing. Some did okay. Some were making me wish for a fast forward button. Not everyone has stage presence. Obvious. Not everyone is Michael Arrington. Even more obvious. At one point, after watching the CEO of a company get slaughtered on stage, I was horrified. It's one thing to 'get to the bottom of a story' by asking important pointed questions. It's another to insult the guest you've invited on stage.
After the complicated feelings I was having about TechCrunch Disrupt 2012, I started to debate what it all meant. I wanted to stay for the cupcakes and cookies, wanted to find companies that would shine through the dark alley, but was I naïve thinking that this would happen quickly? It wasn't until I walked up "Wot Went Wrong" that I realized what went wrong with my relationship with Disrupt2012. Imagine this, you crowdsource anonymous advice from your ex and strangers as to what you did wrong in your failed relationship. Now, the key is people have to be honest. And if they can be honest, well, then you'll find out who you really are. Maybe you think you're a great listener and everyone else thinks you're a self-absorbed egomaniac. (No, I wasn't talking about anyone in particular at TechCrunch) What a great idea... right? Ok maybe. If you're ex wants to be honest about the things they didn't like about you. If your friends are not afraid to tell you the truth (keeping in mind that sometimes your friends can't even tell you that you have junk in your teeth after eating a salad).
Once I started to focus on the relationship idea at TechCrunch Disrupt2012, every app or company that was trying to connect people seemed to jump out. I found https://www.facebook.com/MixersApp -- a facebook app that is a less creepy version of chat roulette for dating. Sounds kind of fun, I think? I don't know, I'm not single. I have not dated for years. So, it's hard for me to figure if I'd really like to video with just anyone. It's hard to get my friends to video chat with me because they think it's too much work. Let's just text. Easy. Right? No one has to say what they really mean -- ahem, don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. At least, I think that's what happens in the dating world, as well as the platonic world. Doesn't it? (Disclaimer: please don't take my advice, I really have no clue. I am just winging it when it comes to writing about dating... although relationships I know. Dating? Nada.)
Okay, lastly, the most fun and creative company of the bunch: Wait for it... drum roll... Supermanket. The co-founders are two guys from Chile: Pedro Pineda and Tadashi Takaoka. Both wanted to make the dating game a little better for women so they turned men into products. Seems like a logical step. Men create profiles based on categories they may fit into. 'Millionare and dying'-- yes that is a category. What woman wouldn't want that? The company is based on humor and playfulness, which really should be the aim of anything to do with dating. I know there may be some backlash around the concept of Supermanket -- the whole idea of objectification -- yada, yada. I wouldn't be a true feminist if I said, um, so what? I like the objectification of men. Bring it. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and all of the sudden, I kind of like more than just the cupcakes and cookies at TechCrunch Disrupt 2012.