Broadclip, a company introducing MediaCatcher, a Facebook application that acts as a Tivo for Internet radio, had a rough afternoon here at Techcrunch40, a showcase for emerging companies in San Francisco. First, the company chose to use its entire eight minute presentation slot for a canned video, with no people on stage. The audience refrained from booing. Barely.
â''So much of this business is about people,â'' noted expert panelist Loic LeMeur, an entrepreneur. â''It was a bad idea to escape from the stage.â''
It didnâ''t get better for Broadclip during the panel discussion that follows every group of five presentations. When questioned about the legality of a product that crawls the Internet and clips music streams out of live feeds, making those clips available for a user to move to a portable music player without payment, the company representative argued that the service increases revenue to music companies by increasing the number of listeners to a radio station broadcast. Panelist MC Hammer (yes, that MC Hammer, heâ''s gotten involved in a startup company lately) jumped in vehementally, â''You are not increasing revenues!â''
Don Dodge, former vice president of Napster, who was in the audience, couldnâ''t stay out of this discussion. â''I lived that life,â'' Dodge said. â''Youâ''re wrong, whether you are increasing revenues or not is irrelevant. You are going to have trouble.â''
And conference host Jason Calacanis closed the discussion, unable to resist commenting that Dodge put the nail in it and Hammer, well, the joke didnâ''t exactly flow, but it clearly wasnâ''t a good afternoon for Broadclip.