This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

Give Me an Invite! Creating User Demand at Launch

#sxsw #invites

Nobody likes waiting in line, whether for a party or an exclusive beta invite, unless they can skip it or be the “cool kid” who doles out invites to friends. RockMelt tested this theory when their browser initially launched under the cloak of private beta and allowed users to help their friends “jump the line”. Others have seen similar success like Google+ and which left people scrambling for invites from friends. But what’s the secret behind building buzz via exclusive access without alienating potential users?

Beta and Alpha testing is becoming increasingly popular as people vie for early adopter status. Panelists from initially exclusive products will discuss the psychology behind exclusive access, the benefits of an invite system, and how gated access helps you attract the right users. This conversation is a must for any startup looking to make a splash at launch.


Eric Vishria CEO RockMelt

Eric Vishria is co-founder and CEO of RockMelt, which he co-founded with Tim Howes in November, 2008. RockMelt is re-inventing the browser for how people use the Web today. Vishria graduated from Stanford at age 19 with a B.S. in Mathematical & Computational Science and a minor in Human Biology. He began his career in investment banking at Broadview International and got his first entrepreneurial experience as an early employee at Loudcloud and later Opsware, where he quickly rose through the ranks in various product and marketing roles. When Opsware was acquired by HP in 2007 for $1.65 billion, Vishria was serving as VP of Marketing. Once at HP, Eric returned to his passion for product development, when he assumed leadership of a half a billion dollar product line in HP Software. Vishria’s broad experience in building & leading product, marketing and business teams melds with his natural management and leadership abilities to make him one of the most promising young CEOs in Silicon Valley.

Erick Schonfeld Editor TechCrunch

Erick Schonfeld is the Editor in Chief of TechCrunch. He oversees the editorial content of the site, helps to program the Disrupt conferences and CrunchUps, produces TCTV shows, and writes daily for the blog. He is also the father of three adorable children.

He joined TechCrunch as Co-Editor in 2007, and helped take it from a popular blog to a thriving media property.

Prior to TechCrunch, he was Editor-at-Large for Business 2.0 magazine, where he wrote feature stories and ran their main blog, The Next Net. He also launched an online video series with CNN/Money and hosted regular panels and conferences of industry luminaries.

Schonfeld started his career at Fortune magazine in 1993

Michael Seibel CEO Socialcam

Michael Seibel is the CEO of Socialcam. Socialcam is the easiest way to create and share videos from your smartphone. The company’s goal is to become the default mobile video application for iOS and Android.

Before Socialcam, Michael Seibel was the co-founder and CEO of During his 5 years he oversaw strategy, investor relations, business development and monetization. During Michael’s tenure as CEO, has grown to be the largest live video site on the Web, and now boasts more than 30 million unique visitors each month.

Before joining, Michael was the Finance Director for Kweisi Mfume’s U.S. Senate campaign. In addition to leading all fundraising activities for the former president of the NAACP, Michael organized and hosted major events across the Midwest, East and Southeast regions, and coordinated print and online fundraising efforts. Michael joined the campaign in 2005 and was promoted to Finance Director in less than six months.

Michael earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Yale University, where he focused his studies on American government. While at Yale, he served on the executive committee of Focus on New Haven, Black Student Alliance, Yale Political Union and The New Journal.

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