Capital, Comps and the Free Capital Doled Out in Silicon Valley
By Larry Chiang
Free capital comes in the form of a comped booth to display at a conference such as “TechCrunch Disrupt”. In special cases, writers will offer this to startup they see as innovative.
Foam core sign.
-1- Treat it like it’s $10k.
Just because you paid zero, do not slack and show up late. Leave early.
That’d be cliche.
For example, let’s say Alexia and the editorial team doles out 10 comps. Majority of comped startups will show up late. Leave early. By comped, I mean “people who got a table for free”.
-2- Do the opposite.
Show up early as if you just spent your last 10k here at TC.
Advanced Tip #3
“Yield the balance of your time”.
When I testified before Congress, I heard this phrase all-the-time. By yield the balance, congressman get five minutes, speak for 4.7 and magnanimously utter, “I yield the balance of my time (0.3 sec before the committee chair buzzes them!)”
Apply this to TechCrunch Disrupt by yielding the balance.*
Advanced Tip #3a
– You get seven hours. Tables are 30-40% vacant. This is a problem for the conference producers because when the energy drops, people complain. When the energy drops, people criticize and critique.
Advanced Tip #3b
– “Yield the balance” by helping curate super cool ______. And then…
Advanced Tip #3c
Get the startup you curate to purchase a ticket or two.
Let them have two hours of your table.
Advanced Tip #3d.
Make sure that they have a receipt to show.
Advanced Tip #3e
Don’t ask for permission.
Advanced Tip #3f
If TC staff ask if you “resold” your table, you did but let TechCrunch make 100%.
Advanced Tip #3g
Read the Justin Wilcox application of this pattern
For example, he was given a table comp at Jason Calacanis’ “Launch” Conference. He split it in half and gave half the table to a paying VC.
Then Justin Wilcox executed an AfterParty and gave Twilio’s Danielle Morrill an opportunity to sponsor. But all the capital, comps and “Free Silicon Valley Capital”, Justin Wilcox gave back to Jason Calacanis’ launch conference.
The idea is to take the house money and give it away while keeping and banking goodwill. House money is money won or given to you.
Goodwill is warm-hearted thoughts
*Every step is critical.
Hope you love it here in Silicon Valley!
Question: Hey Larry Chiang, have you ever done this yourself?
LARRY CHIANG answer: yes! I did this at
– TC 40. TechCrunch 40.
– TC 50. TechCrunch 50.
– Web 2.o Summit.
– FOO [friends of (Tim) O’Reilly]Social Foo
and not techie tech like
– Sundance Film Festival
– Mercedes Benz Fashion Week
I blogged the Justin Wilcox case at GigaOm
I blogged the TechCrunch comps at TechCrunch
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