Even as most of Silicon Valley stays silent, allegations are still emerging against TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington. Now Gawker says they’ve uncovered two additional stories of Mr. Arrington behaving abusively toward women.
The first incident occurred way back in 1999, when Mr. Arrington was working at a startup called RealNames. Cecile Sharp, who was the company’s HR rep at the time, says that Mr. Arrington was investigated for an alleged assault on a woman who worked as a sales rep for the company.
Update, 4/8/13: Michael Arrington has responded with a denial of all allegations, and his ex, Meghan Asha, has issued her own denial of the allegations “made on [her] behalf.” More here.
Mike Arrington, founder of TechCrunch, is not having a good week. That’s because Homeland Security, that most reviled of federal bureaus, has taken his boat. We know this because he has taken to his blog with an outraged testament titled, “THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY STOLE MY BOAT TODAY.” Read More
We should probably call TechCrunch Disrupt the startup Super Bowl, but it’s a little more like a cross between the Rose Bowl and a National Latin Club Convention. Case in point: Today’s interview with Mark Zuckerberg, booked solid but streamed online.
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.”) Read More
CHEESE AND CRACKERS. Startup godfather Paul Graham was in town this week to promote Y Combinator, the accelerater program that remains the gold standard despite the fact that it does not have its own TV show. Living in New York makes his upper lip sweat, he shared, indicating a YC branch in the city is not in the cards. Entrepreneurs were salivating over the chance to meet the jolly and gracious Mr. Graham–“never seen so many dudes in a line” as someone on Twttr, we can’t remember who, tweeted. But Mr. Graham is not as beloved when it comes to the investor community. A notoriously fierce advocate of founder power, Mr. Graham pushes for extremely favorable investment terms for YC companies–namely in the form of uncapped notes, whereby the stake in the seed round converts to a proportionate amount of stock in the next round. “Angels and super-angels tend not to like uncapped notes,” Mr. Graham has written. “They have no idea how much of the company they’re buying. If the company does well and the valuation of the next round is high, they may end up with only a sliver of it.”
The main problem with this, one investor told Betabeat, is that Mr. Graham takes a straight six percent stake in YC companies even as he waxes righteous when those companies go out to raise. Entrepreneurs defer to Mr. Graham’s advice, this source said, even when there’s another investor they’d like to work with. “He’s protecting those two blockbusters,” this source said, referring to the relatively small number of mega-breakout YC startups such as Airbnb and Heroku.
It’s fine by some investors if Mr. Graham wants his companies to talk a big game, our source said–personally, this source plans to clean up by investing in YC companies later when they “have to do a down round” after the inevitable failure to meet their investors’ artificially inflated expectations. Read More
Flabbergasts! New York-based TechCrunch editor Erick Schonfeld, newly-named editor in chief of the site, has been accused. In a glorious resignation post, TechCrunch writer Paul Carr pointed a finger at the New Yorker: “While Heather, Mike and other senior editorial staffers were making a stand for the site’s editorial independence from The Huffington Post, Erick cut a side deal with Huffington to guarantee him the top job once Mike was gone.”
This information came from Mr. Arrington “and was later corroborated by more than one other person close to the situation,” Mr. Carr told Betabeat by email. “I don’t really want to say much more than that.”
Mr. Schonfeld appears to be on an airplane at the moment and did not respond to an email seeking comment. Read More
Betabeat published a story yesterday about the ways in which tech investors who write about private companies on public blogs might run afoul of SEC regulations. It focused, naturally, on Mike Arrington, who saw the post around 2 a.m. this morning and responded with this tweet:
“Screw that. Let me introduce you to the first fucking amendment to our constitution.”
Mr. Arrington failed to provide any links to the first amendment, but luckily, Betabeat had spent yesterday afternoon conversing with Prof. John Coffee of Columbia University, one of the foremost experts on securities law in the nation. Read More
Has Blogging Become the New Insider Trading?
“People think there is a distinction between how an major investor can talk about a public company versus a private company,” said Ralph Ferrara, former General Counsel for the SEC. “But if you read the law carefully, you see that everything that you can do wrong when combining a public company with the media applies to investments in private companies as well.”
Michael Arrington wanted to have it all. The editor-in-chief of TechCrunch, the nation’s most powerful tech blog, had, except for a brief hiatus, invested his own money in the companies he covered. The move always prompted a bit of grumbling in the blogosphere, but nothing he couldn’t handle.