Sad Red Herring email is sad but if you want to buy entry to an Awards programme, here is the information you need
December 13, 2014
By Mark Littlewood
A long time ago (before the last bubble burst), Red Herring was an interesting magazine about technology. That was a long time ago.
Red Herring and Industry Standard competed to put on amazing conference/parties and I will never forget going to Barcelona, the week before NASDAQ peaked for a Red Herring or Industry Standard Conference (was definitely one or the other but can’t remember which). A little while before, there was a conference by the other one held in Disneyland Paris. The whole theme park was opened to the guests in the evening. Great fun. We were chauffeured around Barcelona from Gaudi Museum to private party to sponsored reception for a few days. I think I remember seeing the CEO of LetsBuyIt, just a week or so out from his much anticipated IPO, holding court in a room, surrounded by acolytes and entrepreneurs listening to an anecdote or two, huge cigar in one hand, a couple of girls poised strategically one, on his knee, the other on the arm of his chair.
It didn’t feel like a comfortable sort of place to be for me.
Less than a week later the crash started. The bubble burst and lots of those companies and people went away.
It is nice to be reminded of the past and Red Herring still hangs on, I am not sure why.
Every year, it runs a money making event to supposedly celebrate the ‘best’ of European and North American technology companies. It is widely regarded as being bullshit and there are very good reasons for that.
In a nutshell, the awards are given a veneer of objectivity by claiming to be judged on an opaque combination of important sounding criteria – ‘number of customers and users’, ‘execution index’, ‘growth rate’, ‘regional contribution’. Companies are shortlisted for the Top 100 and then have to pay “2,900” – presumably $, £ or €, they don’t care as long as it’s money – to, in the words of Red Herring, “Avoid conflicts of interest”
Today, I was invited to apply(!). Just to be clear, we run the best events for technology businesses in the world, not the best technology business.