Arrington ... not so much. He seems earnest, but the thought of being part of an Arrington fund feels a lot like participating in a reality show. TechCrunch seems to brew a tempest in a teacup about twice a year; how would that not affect their investments?
The way you say it makes it sound like a veiled insult.
Who cares if he has or has not created drama? I actually think his ability to report on news regardless of the fact a lot of the subjects are his friends, shows a huge amount of integrity - and I know that Hacker News hates him - but still, he could easily be as trashy as Gizmodo but he has managed to do it whilst remaining mostly neutral to his network. Impressive.
All the other TC writers come across as childish pushing out the PR agenda of the latest startups. Very little originality or reporting.
So what are you in when tech editors fund startups?
We have to start looking at TechCrunch as the conduit of PR coming from the valley rather than real news. Then I think everyone can chill and just accept TC for what it is and forget the expectations.
'I don’t claim to be a journalist,' Mr. Arrington said, though he breaks news and writes prolifically. 'I hold myself to higher standards of transparency and disclosure.'
Armstrong (could have been more careful with his phrasing):
'TechCrunch is a different property and they have different standards', said Tim Armstrong, chief executive of AOL, in an interview. 'We have a traditional understanding of journalism with the exception of TechCrunch, which is different but is transparent about it.'
Yes he has relationships but I'd suspect many folks are 'friends' with Arrington to either (1) get TC coverage or (2) avoid his wrath if they're doing something that might be perceived as shady. Do those relationships survive his departure from TC? My gut says no as based on reputation, he doesn't seem a warm & cuddly guy people would want to help just cuz he's a good dude.
My point is that there are a lot of people who "get it" in the Valley, any many of those don't have reputations as jerks.
Whatever. We'll soon find out how many hangers-on stick around now that he's resigned from TechCrunch.
This type of indirect value capture will tend to happen given the economics of online publishing. Hopefully TC can put in to place a some policies that limit the impact on the publication's objectivity.
I find this an interesting point. In some sense, Hacker News publishes anything that can receive enough upvotes. But in another sense, YC interests are highly supported by the ecosystem.
For example, job postings for YC companies are posted like articles but without comments attached, particularly negative articles about YC startups are often (though not always) flagged by an unknown team of editors, and YC stories on TechCrunch are almost always upvoted (and are allowed to have YC in the title, leading to a signaling effect).
None of this is to suggest that anyone necessarily has any bad intentions, but rather that stories on HN do seem to be highly curated by people who may have what might be considered traditional conflicts-of-interest.
But it is listed here: http://www.crunchbase.com/person/michael-arrington
SVAngel co invests with all YC companies.
"Such moves reportedly violated AOL's code of employee conduct, but Arrington received an exemption."
Back when Sarbanes-Oxley regulations were all the rage, the 'code of conduct' was something the CEO and everyone else 'signed off on' (literally) on penalty of perjury, that employees and management adhered to the stated code. The idea was that not only were they swearing to follow the rules, there was a way to criminally prosecute them if they did not. Some investor backlash from the abuses in the dot-com bubble. In that context the definition of 'exemption' is 'no longer employed here.' :-)
So AOL has gone on record saying that its the 'mostly' code of conduct which some folks don't actually have to follow. So where does that fall on the Sarbanes-Oxley scale? Is this a shareholder lawsuit waiting to happen? I hope not for Michael's sake.
So how hard is it to decide what to work on? Some careers don't have a lot of overlap, things like 'arms dealer' and
'diplomat', really hard to do both. Michael, if you're reading this, and I know you are since you read HN, I advise you to choose and then let the other one go. It will save you so much pain down the road.
From the linked article: Neither Arrington nor AOL responded to requests for comment. Gallagher said "no comment" when reached via phone.