7 tips for making your live demo not suck

Myles Weissleder Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Myles Weissleder of SF New Tech. Portrait: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — Myles Weissleder has witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to startup demos.

The former VP of public affairs at Meetup.com presides over SF New Tech, a showcase for disruptive hopefuls that he’s run for more than eight years. Over 750 companies including SkyBox, Twilio, Prezi, Flipboard and Twitter have come to his networking mixer to demo before a live audience in a trendy SOMA club.

In San Francisco’s competitive startup environment, you can demo your game-changing idea (or Pet Rock app) every night of the week, but SF New Tech is one of the longest-running and largest showcases. Wannapreneurs face a few hundred audience members — many of them from influential companies like Apple or venture capital firms like CMEA capital — where the mingling is fueled by drinks and tacos.

During a recent demo night, Cult of Mac sat down with the indefatigable Weissleder, who is as at home on the stage with a mic as he is hobnobbing at the bar, to get his top tips on how not to bomb when you take the stage with your great idea, hoping to find cash and connect with influencers.

Killer instincts hide behind Apple’s friendly new face

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Time Cook onstage at WWDC 2014. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web
Apple seems friendlier these days. But at what cost? Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Apple sure is looking friendlier these days.

This year’s Worldwide Developers Conference was geekier, more welcoming and less locked-down than any in recent history. Apple also bid farewell to Katie Cotton — the much-feared queen of PR, whose frosty relations with journalists made her only slightly less terrifying than an angry Steve Jobs — with a call for a “friendlier, more approachable” public relations face to warm up the company’s relationship with the press.

“For the past few years it’s felt like Apple’s only goal was to put us in our place,” Panic’s Cabel Sasser recently tweeted. “Now it feels like they might want to be friends.”

These recent moves represent a major change in the way Apple does business, even as the company sits atop a $150 billion war chest amassed thanks to innovative products, ruthless leadership and heavy-handed policies that fostered a culture of secrecy and utter domination. But in a world where it’s drummed into our heads that nice guys finish last, does Apple’s approach risk killing the company with kindness?

CEO Tim Cook certainly doesn’t seem to think so.

iPad Menus Keep It Green At Gordon Ramsay’s Steak In Vegas

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LAS VEGAS — The wine list at Gordon Ramsay’s Steak restaurant changes so frequently, the servers need iPads to keep up.

The wait staff at the Englishman’s massively popular restaurant are armed with 20 iPads to take wine orders.

Not only does it save paper, it’s the only way to make sure the ever-changing wine list is accurate.

Not only do the sommeliers love it, the customers do too.

How One Vegas Casino Uses iPads To Loosen Up Gamblers

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Spense is an iPad-toting  "Beverage Ambassador" at the Rio casino.
Spense is an iPad-toting "Beverage Ambassador" at the Rio casino.

LAS VEGAS — The Rio casino is using iPads to do what casinos do: get visitors drunk and lose money gambling.

Located just off the bustling Vegas strip, the Rio casino has a team of “Beverage Ambassadors,” who wander the casino floor with iPads taking drink orders.

The system has been in place a year now, and it’s so successful, the casino is wondering why the other Vegas gaming joints haven’t copied it.

Here’s how it works:

Aim Higher With The Bolster Your Business E-Book Bundle [Deals]

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CoM - Business eBook Bundle

There’s a lot of competition out there in the business world, and the best way to keep ahead of the game is to your mind finely tuned with knowledge. This Cult of Mac Deals offer won’t only serve to sharpen your business mind, but it won’t soften up your wallet in the process.

This e-book bundle isn’t just a step in the right direction, it’s a leap in the right direction! With over 750 pages of insightful information, your career will make huge advances with what you’ll find within those pages. And you’ll get the entire Bolster Your Business E-book Bundle for just $40 for a limited time!