SANTA CLARA, Calif. — You know how in those late-night commercials for crap like Snuggies and nonstick pans, the actors seem completely incapable of doing normal tasks, like reading a book while wearing a blanket, doing dishes like someone who isn’t 4 years old, or holding a knife without accidentally stabbing someone?

That’s how we feel about the roster of DEMO products listed below. This is a small subsection of the whole DEMO lineup, which is largely great.

But for these particular labors of love, there’s no use case that doesn’t make us think the target user would be an incompetent disappointment to his parents.

Yeah, we’re saddened that not all DEMO companies are as disruptive as they promise to be. Sometimes, it even upsets us that these obviously smart people aren’t solving hard problems but are instead expending their significant intellectual capabilities on coffee roasters and child-support payment apps.

If you ever wondered why reporters are bitter, joyless black holes, this collection of 1s and 0s is why. Take your antinausea meds and prepare to lose your faith in humanity.

To see the DEMO Fall 2013 companies we actually liked and/or loved, check out our less dickish coverage.


This app reads people’s faces to tell you what their emotions are. You freaking robot. You sociopath. How can you not figure out that Susan thinks your jokes are stupid and Dave from work is giving you death stares every time you ask him to fix your computer?

Also, EmoVu’s founders say the app is crafted to get reactions to online videos. You know, like “Two Girls, One Cup.” Apparently, we’ve forgotten what total disgust (or, depending on your porn consumption, disinterested apathy) look like.

In the words of Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Deanna Troi, “Pain! I feel so much … pain!”


OK, this company mostly gets the business end of our hate-stick for its slogan on press materials: “FoKo like rabbits.” For an enterprise app. Because it’s totally apropos to FoKo your colleagues, bosses, sysadmins, whatevs. This is the 21st century, you Puritan jerk! We’re living in a postgender, sex-positive future!

The app is photo-sharing for work. It’s like a secure Instagram, an enterprise-grade Snapchat.

Sadly (for FoKo), Microsoft and Adobe already have these tools and are kind of a big deal in the enterprise. It’s like we say around the office: Due diligence is for the weak.


This thing weighs you while you sleep. If you ever needed a reason to turn your midnight snack into an opportunity to eat your feelings, well, here you go.


Context lets you find content based on your location, interest, and social graph. God’s trousers! How has no one thought of this before?!

Reps from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Topix, and a legion of startups expressed deep regret that their companies didn’t get a jump on this sooner. Such a missed opportunity.


This is basically DrawSomething plus Smule. It’s supposedly for kids, but it lacks any music- or art-teaching features. The founder called it a digital babysitter. “Oh, that’s awesome!” said a horrible parent.


This is an automated system for child-support payments. This is why the rest of the world hates America.


Here’s a system for sharing files and collaborating with your team securely in the cloud. We bet this is one of those founders who says nonsense like, “We have no competition! Our differentiating factor is free lemonade!” Seriously, we get that kind of thing a lot around here.


NuRoast is an individual-sized coffee roaster so you don’t have to put up with the stale, disgusting, single-origin beans you buy from your local artisanal coffee roaster. I want to kill myself.


We just love this idea: an app that lets you share without thinking. Because what we all need is less thinking.

Founders: Please understand this is partially tongue-in-cheek. You’re not bad people, and we’re sure there are better understandings of your products out there. We’re moreover sure there will be plenty of anti-VentureBeat hatorade in the comments section, so read those instead and be encouraged that you still have a soul. We lost ours a long time ago.


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