At this point, writing a post about the ongoing fiasco at Techcrunch is a bit like pointing out that bears like doing their business outdoors or that the chap who lives in Rome with the big hat happens to be a Catholic. But, as a reader of Techcrunch, I think it’s worth getting a few quick thoughts off of my chest.
- It’s all got rather embarrassing. Paul Carr’s addicted to attention and is a veritable masochist when it comes to self inflicted injuries, as anyone who has read either of his books will know. But his resignation note has the air of a jilted lover throwing nasty names at someone he’s deemed to offend the man who won’t respond to his affections. Reading it kept bringing to mind images of movies set in private schools, hormones & unexplained emotions exploding. It leaves me feeling that I like Carr’s writing, but wouldn’t like him – something that I’m sure will bother him for approximately 0 seconds as he works out how best to next kiss the arses of Michael Arrington & Sara Lacy.
- You can enjoy Michael Arrington’s style, admire his accomplishments and still think that setting up an investment fund for the sort of companies that you’re website covers, isn’t a good idea, without the fact that you say this being because you work for the competition. I think (Paul Carr’s former colleague) Jemima Kiss at The Guardian summed this up best.
- The wrong people keep getting blamed. Paul Carr blames nearly everyone. MG Siegler (very unsubtly) blames Arianna Huffington (I guess we should just be grateful he doesn’t blame Microsoft). But Arianna is absolutely not to blame. Despite the fact that she’s someone I’ve had almost no respect for up till now (the way that she built a business on investments from her rich friends and the work of unpaid bloggers desperate for a slice of fame and sold it, for several hundred million dollars, as the future of publishing, is both digital sharecropping on an industrial scale and an example of the Emperor’s new [media] clothes), I think she’s being unfairly blamed here – the fault lies with Arrington (for believing that it wasn’t going to end like this when he sold to AoL, and Tim Armstrong of AoL for ever allowing Arrington to set-up Crunchfund. From, the outside, it looks like everything that Huffington has done since that point has been aimed at clearing up the mess made by the children.
- Techcrunch is bigger than Michael Arrington. I don’t doubt that his new blog will make for interesting and provocative reading. Or that it will be full of childishly snide asides like this. But it won’t mean everyone will stop reading Techcrunch. Nor will Carr’s departure. And, in fact, if they will now have less puff-pieces for Arrington’s investments, and will start to punish people for being unprofessional, it might even mean that the site improves.
I really hope that this is the end of all of this. And that we can get back to reading so-so articles about companies that will never make any money (and puff pieces for Apple). But, considering the personalities involved, somehow I doubt it.
Rubbish by McKay Savage on flickr