TechCrunch 50, LittleShoot, and the Aftermath

Things have been on hold here for the public release of LittleShoot as we have awaited word on our TechCrunch 50 application.  We didn’t make it! Darn.  It came down to the wire — we were in the last batch of companies to receive notification we weren’t in the conference on Friday at 1:24 AM EST. The 50 companies that made it in should know now.  Here’s the e-mail:


Dear TechCrunch50 Candidate:

We are sorry to inform you that your company was not selected as a finalist for the TechCrunch50 conference. As you know, we are only able to select a very, very small percentage of the more than 1,000 outstanding applications we receive.

Your company was among a select set of candidates that we considered, and it was a difficult decision driven purely by the limited number of presentation slots. Since we regarded your business so highly, we want to make sure you still get the opportunity to participate in the conference in our DemoPit.

As a DemoPit company, you will have the opportunity to be nominated for the People’s Choice award and win the 50th spot on the TechCrunch50 main stage. As the 50th company to present, the People’s Choice award winner will be able to compete for the $50,000 TechCrunch50 award. Act fast, as spaces are very limited and first come, first served.

Additionally, all DemoPit companies will benefit from the exposure generated by media attending the event. We do anticipate having approximately 300 members of the international press in attendance.

If you have questions regarding the TechCrunch50 Demo Pit opportunity, please email Dan Kimerling at


–Jason, Heather & Michael
and the TechCrunch50 Team


I’ve got a lot of respect for the TechCrunch folks and the way they give unfunded companies a shot, and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Jason Calacanis down at the Mahalo Tech Meetup last night in one of my first nights in LA. I appreciate the tremendous work Jason, Michael, Heather, and the other folks at TechCrunch have put it to the process.  

That said, it’s on.  I feel like the guy on draft day who didn’t go on the first round.  It’s the “meritocracy” thing that gets me – TechCrunch 50 is touted as a pure meritocracy.  I’d put LittleShoot’s technology up there with anyone, and it just kills me to think 50 startups beat us out.  We can tell ourselves they had better business models, better marketing plans, yada yada yada, but I’m taking it to mean they had better technology.  If there’s anything that motivates me, that’s it. I have great respect for the other applicants, and we all supported each other on the TechCrunch blog as we agonized through the waiting process.  I wish everyone the best of luck, but the LittleShoot public beta is on its way.

Here’s a link to the LittleShoot demo video we submitted for TechCrunch for people unfamiliar with the Little Fella’:

LittleShoot Demo


7 Responses to TechCrunch 50, LittleShoot, and the Aftermath

  1. JoeDuck says:

    Adam thanks for a thoughtful post – as a fellow TC loser I’ve been trying to find the words for a similar type of post right now, struggling over complimenting TC for offering a big shot to everybody, but complaining about the delays and stress they could have managed better with a lot more transparency and better deadlines.

    As Jason noted at Twitter there were a lot of strong companies that did not make the cut, and I wish there was a way for all of them to congregate online in some fashion. Hmmmm.

  2. adamfisk says:

    Hi Joe- Yeah, I never found exactly the words I wanted, but I just fired it off anyway! I don’t typically do that, but I was a little frustrated for sure.

    Something along the lines of BarCamp crossed my mind. You could organize some sort of online conference for people who didn’t get in — techmorecrunch50, something like that. It would be an interesting PR move, although the tricky part is TechCrunch 50’s value comes from the “official” seal of approval (aka Jason and Michael) they give companies who get in. I’m not sure you’d get a lot of VC traffic, but I’m personally not interested in VC anyway.

    The missed deadlines didn’t actually bother me too much, although it did slow down my work because it was so distracting. Jason’s post on presentations annoyed me a bit (heck we’re startups working on products, not voiceover actors or presentation gurus — plus he’s the one getting paid, not us), but then again, that’s his whole schtick — saying provocative things to get maximum exposure as far as I can tell. It’s a good strategy and one I respect since he’s not saying anything that’s untrue.

  3. Ralph says:

    Regarding the discussion on the TC50 FAQ, it was continued over on Rob Blatt’s blog (he was the final post prior to the closing of the comments).

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  6. Benny says:

    Hey Adam,

    I’d love to talk to you about getting a coalition of smaller startups together to pool resources and help promote one one another. We were also an applicant at the Tech 50 and got shot down even though we have a great product. I think if we can pull together we can be a pretty powerful force. Anyone else who is interested should email me also at

  7. adamfisk says:

    Hi Benny- I agree we could be a powerful force. I wonder how effective we could be just doing something super simple like blogging about each other, digging each other up, stumbling upon each other etc.

    Sort of an “I’ll shamelessly promote you if you shamelessly promote me” angle. We’re all working on interesting stuff, so it’s gotta be for the greater good, right? We could start with just the people who have posted so far, so you, me, and Rob Blatt? Does this interest you, Benny? Anyone else want in?

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