Tuesday, May 22, 2007

TechCrunch: Biting the Hand that Feeds It

Michael Arrington recently posted on TechCrunch that Silicon Valley needs a downturn. He writes:

"Times are good, money is flowing, and Silicon Valley sucks... People become more anxious, and more likely to snap at someone in anger or jealousy. Rumor mongering spikes, and a crucial balance is lost. It’s no longer about beautiful products and genius developers. It’s about the money and the status, and hot PR chicks and marketing departments."
This is a legitimate position to take (that I personally disagree with), but it does seem to me that TechCrunch is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Silicon Valley startup hype cycle. More venture money means two trends that TechCrunch would seem to benefit from:
  1. More startups get funded, which generate more pageviews for TechCrunch as they write about new products resulting from the funding
  2. Larger marketing budgets to fund advertising and conferences
Valuation aside, I can't think of a company that fundamentally relies on the swelling interest in web 2.0 more than TechCrunch.

On a side note, I don't really understand the animosity for marketing departments that he associates with the boom. I'm obviously a little bit biased, but I think marketing plays vital role in any startup. There are many examples of bad technology companies that are successful because of great marketing, but few examples of great technology companies that are successful despite bad marketing.

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