I’ve always been a big TechCrunch fan. Not sure the exact date I started reading it, but when I discovered it something clicked in my head and I realized that there was some really cool, cutting-edge stuff happening in the world that I really had no idea about and that all of the sudden there was a place I could go to learn about it. If you’re reading this then you almost certainly already know that Michael Arrington, now a partner at CrunchFund who now blogs over at Uncrunched, founded the massively disruptive and cool TechCrunch back in 2005.
I’ve never met Mike, so I don’t know him personally other than through his writing, but I have to say he’s been a major inspiration for me (especially as I build up DailyTekk). Here’s a guy that started an ultra-successful blog from scratch, sold it and now can do pretty much whatever he wants. But that’s not what inspires me the most per se: I like that Mike isn’t afraid to speak his mind. He uses the internet and his freedom of speech to the upmost and he likes brutal honesty. He’s not afraid to stand up for what he believes in or pick a fight here and there (and doesn’t back down when someone else starts one). Oh ya, I also like that he’s an animal activist (real men are). I know not everyone likes him and that’s fine–they don’t have to.
Over the last couple of days I’ve been digging through the TC archives to see what life was like as a blogger for Mike when he was just getting started and I can really relate to some of his experiences from those early days. While it’s been fascinating, it’s been more than that. It’s been useful to see a pioneer in action, to see what he faced on his own journey. It’s also given me hope that someday DailyTekk can be a widely read (and hopefully respected) resource as well. So, I’d like to share with you some quotes I dug up from Mike on blogging and getting things started and how those words relate to my own experience here on DailyTekk.
A quote from a post titled TechCrunch – After 5 Months:
[quote]I’ve been blogging personally for some time but this was my first attempt to write for an audience larger than my immediate family and friends. It’s been a wonderful experience – and I have countless new friends (bloggers, readers, entrepreneurs, journalists and venture capitalists) that I’ve met directly or indirectly through writing TechCrunch.[/quote]
As it stands, DailyTekk has only been live for just over 2 months but these thoughts could practically be my own (minus the venture capitalists bit–haven’t really run into many of those yet here in CO). If it weren’t for having started DailyTekk there are so many awesome people (and products) I would never even know existed.
That same post has a chart (pictured above) that shows what looks like RSS feed subscribers growing from 0 to over 8,000 within 5-6 months. That’s pretty awesome. I can’t say DailyTekk has grown nearly that fast (we’re getting about 120,000 views per month right now) but it’s so fun to watch something you created start gaining some momentum. I’m practically addicted to checking the stats of the site.
Here’s another quote from a post on Crunchnotes describing why Mike started TC:
[quote]TechCrunch is a hobby that has grown to an obsession. I have always loved startups, from my days representing them at Wilson Sonsini (a law firm), and through my adventures as an entrepreneur. I know what drives entrepreneurs and I know how to talk to and about them. I am deeply honored every time someone takes the time to tell me about their company, their passion.[/quote]
Again, I can relate. I started my first company while in the dorm at college (sure, it was just designing websites for musicians in my free time, but still) and ever since then have loved all things entrepreneurial. While startups aren’t the only thing I like to cover here on DailyTekk, I do love reading about them, interacting with the founders and staff and writing about them when I get a chance. Really my plan is to follow the advice Mike gave to a commenter, ironically a person named Chris (link):
[quote]Write good content about stuff that you love. Readers will find you.[/quote]
Here’s a link to Mike’s first ever company profile on Technorati from June 11, 2005. Unfortunately some of the pictures are broken now, but it’s still fun to look at the post that got things rolling. It even has 4 Google Plus shares somehow! It’s a pretty humble post: short and sweet and to the point. When DailyTekk began I was publishing “daily tech finds” and that’s what category my first post was on for an RCA USB Wall Plate Charger of all things. My first post was pretty humble as well (to say the least). Obviously, I’ve shifted focus a bit since then and honestly I’m still trying to figure out what exactly to cover here on the site (and probably always will be).
It must have been so weird to look back on the blog he created and say:
[quote]It is my sincere hope that over time TechCrunch is able to carve out some level of independence for itself. Because, as a reader, I want TechCrunch to live on.[/quote]
I guess that just goes to show you never know what will happen. I’d love to ask Mike if he’d do anything different if he could have a second shot at it all. In fact, I’d like to ask him a bunch of questions (maybe someday I will). I’d love to know at what point he knew TechCrunch was going to be a big success and if he had to start TC today what he would do to give it the best chance of succeeding.
Mike, if you read this, thanks for TechCrunch, thanks for paving the way, thanks for the useful content and even for the entertainment. I’ve really appreciated it all. Good luck with the future!