Book ’em Danno!
Last week, I attended the Book Expo America (BEA) and the TechCrunch Disrupt (TCD) events in New York City. Both were well attended, but the scope of the events and the way they see the future of media—and the convergence of that media—is what I found to be very interesting.
TCD was, as billed in the guide, “a full-contact conference…an introduction to 31 new startups.” It seemed to me, however, these firms were at the event seeking funding for their continued operations, and the distinction between “new” and “startup” was critically missing. Can there be an “old startup?”
What I found to be very unusual about TCD was the lack of startups looking to add to the model on Media Integration and Media Convergence. Most of the presentations focused on software, social networking, location-based marketing, photo search software, health records and the mobile world. Maybe in the broad definition of the term they are all focused somewhat on Media Convergence.
With company names like do@, weotta, karizma and kohort, the TCD event in its design, attendee names, goals and purpose was a very different from Book Expo America. That difference may be only at the surface, since—in the end—both events had the same unofficial, unstated goals: Simply to make money and showcase new technologies that can be built upon and that will serve as the foundation for the future temple or skyscraper of their individual media—NOT a Media Convergence future.
BEA, on the other hand, was in direct contrast to TCD not only in terms of the names of the firms on hand, but in mind space as well. It featured such giants as Simon & Schuster, Random House, Ingram and others, and on the surface appeared to be a more promotion-minded event, with an extensive, almost excessive focus on autograph seekers.