TechCrunch goes pro: What’s the deal? I asked earlier this month.
Michael Arrington, aka TechCrunch, now gives us the answer:
Today we are announcing that we have acquired Philip “Pud” Kaplan’s FuckedCompany.com in a stock for assets transaction.
Are congratulations in order? Hardly.
Arrington “explains” his editorial about face with typical TechCrunch pragmatism:
Since FC focuses on the negative news coming out of startups, and TechCrunch tends to focus on the positive, this combination may seem odd. But the sites are in fact extremely complimentary. For example, the audiences are about equal in size and have very little overlap. So from day one we will double our reach and traffic.
Arrington’s page views rule editorial rationale is not a new one for TechCrunch:
We decide what to cover based on personal interest and what we think will get page views. Just because your company has a nice design, or raised a boatload of cash, doesn’t mean you’ll be written about. If we wrote about every company, no one would come to the site. We make choices, and we are judged by our readers…
Plus, controversy is interesting.
In his own “reasons for the merger” explanation, Arrington reflects a “flexible” TechCrunch editorial approach:
The market moves in cycles, and its clear that we are at the tail end of the current boom (despite recent statements I’ve made to the contrary).
Arrington’s market cycle response:
With the combination of these two companies, we can now effectively cover a startup from the idea stage, through the hype and funding stage, and then ultimately cover its bankruptcy and liquidation as well.
What happened to Web 2.0’s greatest cheerleader for “cool apps,” no business model necessary Michael TechCrunch Arrington? Are the hundreds of hot Web 2.0 start-ups TechCrunch has rallied in its brief but powerful existence really all “ultimately” destined for “bankruptcy and liquidation”?
NEWS FLASH: Arrington has all of a sudden gotten business model religion!
He launched a series on “building a successful and profitable web app.”
What’s more, Arrington no longer believes hyping Web 2.0 start-ups is worth it, literally:
The current trend in blogging, led by Valleywag and others, is to “go negative first, and ask questions later.” That tabloid-style journalism tends to generate a lot of eyeballs and, subsequently, advertiser dollars. This is something we just can’t compete with. By acquiring FC, we can go more negative faster than anyone else out there.
TechCrunch bottom line?
Entrepreneurs with new ideas will always have a way to reach potential users and customers. They just won’t be able to do it here any more.