TechCrunch Seattle is in the books, and we still haven’t recovered.
For a moment there, we thought we were going to screw it up. When we got to ConWorks at five, TripHub and Farecast had their brochures stacked in neat piles and their demo looping on big monitors. It was a tragic reminder of a way we’ll never be.
Savan’s truck went up in smoke trying to haul eight elephant kegs. Rob had to snatch monitors off everyone’s desk (“I don’t care if people are still using them!”) so we could blow out the demo stations. Two Canadian bloggers grabbed a stone-age boulder to help us pile-drive real estate yard signs onto every corner, completely oblivious to their charming accent. Angela got back on on the scene at six with bags of lemons and ice and whipped everyone into shape.
And then the party got ROLLING. Some customers ganged up on us and gave us some great ideas on how to make our service even better. Brian Marsh, freshly shaved for the first time in a week, talked up some demure developers that we’ve been trying to recruit for months. Women swooned over NPR’s John Moe, because he plays in a band, and contributes to McSweeney’s, and has a nice voice too. The temperature shot up to 1,000 degrees.
I complained to Zillow’s Amy Bohutinsky that my daily Zillow alert breaks my heart, every day, and then, oddly but kindly, some Zillow developers gave me some encouragement for my speech, which no one heard. Bryan Selner told me to say we’re hiring, Sean Richter said something even better, which I forgot. David Eraker was proudly wearing his realtor pin. Ryan Erickson demonstrated a facility with tapping kegs that was disturbing for someone so young. Bahn demo’d Redfin ’til he was hoarse, and Eric told everybody about the Redfin techcrunch discount.
TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington, taller and shyer than I’d thought he’d be, but just as smart (like a big, quiet kid whom the coach couldn’t recruit for the football team), was mobbed. Somebody with headphones and a big mike was interviewing everybody. Madrona’s Greg Gottesman was working the room in a dazzling white blazer, and Peter Cochran was gathering an entrepreneur with a good idea into Vulcan’s clutches.
And then at the end, when the scavengers were picking through the pizza and soft drinks that nobody drank, and we had to take down the signs and roll out the empty kegs, our launch was over, and we had time to remember Emily Dickinson’s line that “nothing is half so sad as a battle lost except a battle won.”