Update — Apparently I wasn’t clear enough below for some readers.  Her is the deal: I have so far about 340 candidate companies for 24 positions in my upcoming reality TV series.  That means I have to reject 93 percent of all nominated companies.  Chances are that your startup will not be selected.  So I thought it might be a good idea to point out to those who are true believers in what they are doing that this might be a great time to emphasize more than just the technology and the business.  Emphasize the people who have been, in nearly all nominations so far, ignored.  If you want a better chance of making the top seven percent, then make a greater effort to sell me on your company.  If you can’t edit your nomination, then nominate yourself again or — better still — reach out directly to me with those new details and I’ll make sure they are considered.  What isn’t clear about that?  As for Mrs. Cringely’s remarks, they were a joke. — Bob

I’ve been going through the 300+ nominations for companies to be in this summer’s Cringely (NOT in Silicon Valley) Startup Tour and I am ready to share some conclusions with you. There are three ways to make the final 24: 1) you can have technology that will change the world for the better; 2) you can have an amazing business model that will change the world for the better, or; 3) you can have fascinating people who may not change the world but just might change my world by meeting them.

So far hardly any companies have tried this Door Number Three.

Technology — business — people, that’s what it comes down to, with people being the easiest, frankly, yet I don’t see much personality in these nominations or even in most of the companies.  It’s there, I’m sure, but how can I tell?

Where are the funky company videos? Where are the good natured (or even foul natured — that works, too) founders? Where are the companies relying on smoke, mirrors, and attitude? Where, even, are the single mothers and the Sudanese immigrant company founders?

I am especially disappointed with the entertainment category in this regard. You’d think those people would be the hippest of the hip but they are not. At this point I can see one entertainment company making the cut, maybe two.

We can’t all be another Google but we can present what we have with good humor, of which I am seeing darned little. And that simply doesn’t reflect the startups I’ve known and worked in over the years. Startups are fun, but these seem all too grim.

We have a month to go in this selection process. I’m about to sign that major cable network I’ve been alluding to. This web and TV series is going to happen and it is going to have the crap run out of it over and over on TV until tens of millions of people have seen it.

Don’t you want to be part of that?

Then prove that desire by doing something to stand out from the pack.

One more thing, a word from the very real Mrs. Cringely. I am not making this up, though I’ll tell you right now I don’t condone it. Still, I know which side my bread is buttered on, if you know what I mean and I think you do:

Dear Start Ups,

I thought it might be helpful if you knew the following information….

I’m petite. Extra small should fit just fine. I like fine shoes, especially high heels. My U.S. shoe size is five. I love jewelry. I prefer unique, unusual and funky stuff, not conservative, old lady crap.


Mary Alyce Cringely