Yes I'm the Great Unboxer
A year and a half after bailing on the blog life during the Great TechCrunch Conflagration of ’11, MG Siegler is wading deeper into the world of venture capital. He announced today that he’s heading to Google Ventures as a general partner. He’ll join Kevin Rose and Wesley Chan, focused on seed and early-stage investments.
Mr. Siegler said he’d “continue to work closely with CrunchFund” on investments they’ve already made as well as writing the occasional column for TechCrunch, because apparently that place is actually the Hotel California. But perish the thought of his revealing confidential info from inside the notoriously secretive GOOG:
Between Nick Bilton’s business section cover story and the Wall Street Journal‘s Foxconn follow-up, it was hard to miss this weekend’s agitprop about the inevitable iWatch. According to Dan Lyons, that’s exactly how Apple intended it. That stock slide isn’t going to manipulate itself!
Mr. Lyons traced the start of Apple’s whisper (in a reporter’s ear) campaign back to TechCrunch blogger, investor, and Apple stock holder MG Siegler, who called the time it takes to pull an all-serving computer out of his own pocket ”insane.” That was followed by an impromptu treatise on the iWatch’s ability to “fill a gaping hole in the Apple ecosystem” from Cupertino’s former interface designer.
Blog the Public
Airbnb Is a Belieber Early this week, CEO Brian Chesky tweeted out a photo of Justin Bieber, whose startup cred apparently extends to Airbnb renter. The Instagram shot was taken by Mazy Kazerooni, cofounder of #DominateFund, Ben Parr’s still hush-hush, celebrity-focused micro-VC. Gee, wonder who their LPs are?
Friday flashback This week the revamped Digg got an unexpected celebrity thumbs-up: Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit fame (infamy?) tweeted at developer Robert Tolar Haining, “I love Digg. Great job and beautiful interface.” “Why thank you sir!” Mr. Haining replied, because what else are you going to say when Fred Durst compliments your UI?
Caught In The Webb
The blogosphere is a brave new news world, but it’s generally assumed that blogs that report the news adhere to basic journalistic standards—like not deliberately inserting bits of misinformation into their virtual pages. Right?
Former TechCrunch blogger MG Siegler took a dig at bloggers who rewrite others’ reporting. “I used to love to plant one really weird bit of random information (sometimes even false) into stories to catch the rewrites,” he tweeted earlier today. There’s that TechCrunch swagger.
Bubbles bubbles bubbles! The talk continues. Last week the anti-bubble camp was in the ascendency. First we had a massive bubble debate on Branch.com (disclosure: I am an investor in Branch), featuring some of the best minds on the internet: Anil Dash, Dave McClure, Paul Kedrosky, Chris Sacca, Michael Arrington, MG Seigler and more. The rough consensus? No bubble.
In wrapping up the Branch debate, Seigler pointed to First Round Capital’s Josh Kopelman, and his hilarious bubble post – from 2007, no less – mocking those who continuously cry bubble, and failing to grasp the transformational power of the internet. A fair point.
Next we had Business Insider Henry Blodget’s presentation State of Startups 2012 presentation, subtitled “No, it’s not a bubble.” Many charts, graphs and points followed laying out why the bubble doesn’t exist.
I must confess, however, I’m in the pro-bubble camp, and while reading the Branch debate, I found myself jumping up and down with counter arguments on why we actually are in a bubble. And, since I’ve taken a two week vacation from this column, I figured I’d come back with a vengeance, and cogently lay out all the arguments and counter arguments.
Damn, we thought for sure the next big exit from the ashes of the house that Arrington built was going to be Alexia Tsotsis, but it looks like heads are rolling closer to the top instead. Editor-in-chief Erick Schonfeld, the “man without hap” that many doubted could match Mike Arrington’s
bluster swagger, is out as editor-in-chief of TechCrunch.
In aberration from the typical TechCrunch good-bye post, which is becoming something of a genre, Mr. Schonfeld didn’t pen his own farewell. Rather it was written, mere minutes ago, by Ms. Tsotsis and her new boss, Eric Eldon. Mr. Eldon is a former editor at VentureBeat and, unlike Mr. Schonfeld’s promotion, it looks like ex-Crunchers approve.
For the last decade, Erick Schonfeld has been the lone wolf of tech media, working as the East Coast point man for tech publications headquartered in Silicon Valley “He’s the kind of reporter who can handle anything you throw at him, from a trendy Web 2.0 startup to a Fortune 100 titan,” said Josh Quittner, who was Mr. Schonfeld’s old boss at Business 2.0. “For us he played the one man band.”
The thirty-nine-year-old father of three lives in the suburbs near Chappaqua, forty five minutes north of New York City. (He left a tip on Foursquare about his morning commute from the Metro North station: “Get here early and snag a metered parking spot.”)
Those of you who hopped on a plane without Wifi Friday evening can be forgiven for not keeping track of what AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher described as “pure twaddle wrapped in ridonkulous grandstanding.” First came TechCrunch writer Paul Carr’s lively public resignation letter. That was followed by newly-crowned TechCrunch editor Erick Schonfeld’s equally public resignation acceptance. And then, to pile it on, TechCrunch writer MG Siegeler offered a semi-private anti-Huffington IED because hey, it’s no fun if you can’t play too.
Digg’s Kevin Rose compared all the adolescent drama to “a LiveJournal page,” so put on some emo jams and join us, won’t you, as we flip through the pages of TechCrunch’s Burn Book. And, yes, for the most part, you’ll find it at the same URL where the professional tech blog used to be.
You didn’t really think Michael Arrington was going to step out of the suddenly “nuclear” spotlight with a few lamestream media quotes and some tweets, did you? If so, you must not have seen yesterday’s ransom letter in which he says: give me “editorial independence” or gimme my site back.
In short he’s recasting his ethically questionable decision to continue to edit a site about startups even as he invests in them as an affront to his very freedom.
We would call his latest move classic Arrington, except even for a “digital megalomaniac,” this is brazen. Well, brazen or laughable. Definitely one or the other.
When Arianna Huffington told David Carr that Michael Arrington was yanked from the editorial payroll and TechCrunch masthead “effectively immediately,” and relegated him to the role of unpaid blogger, this is probably not the kind of blog post she had in mind.