I just read Scoble's incinerating post on the less than spectacular demos for DEMO this year and I have to say, I agree with him wholeheartedly. I went through most of them and was unimpressed as well. I hate to be dismissive or negative, but I'm not really seeing much innovation lately, and this isn't the first time I've written about it (see my previous post on TwiistUp 4).
I did come across something interesting amongst the demo'ers. A site called crowdspring.com caught my eye, mainly because I have a design background and good design always me double take. On first glance, the designs they were showcasing were actually pretty good (logos, branding, etc.) and the quotes the designs were being submitted for relatively low (under a $1000). It's hard to find good designers and even harder to find inexpensive good designers. I think I'll be using this service in the future.
I won't blast Scoble for being honest. To all the startups out there, I have some advice – take it or leave it. Just because you are a startup, doesn't mean your site should look like crap. Since you are a startup, your site is really the only thing people are going to judge you on. Make it look nice, and don't let your engineers design it. Get a designer to do it, it's well worth the added cost (and the cost isn't always as outrageous as you think).
Great post Scoble. I'm glad someone is being candid and getting through the buzzwords and bull****.