The Business On... Michael Arrington, Founder, TechCrunch

Click to follow
The Independent Online

How much?

I beg your pardon?

How much?

Ah, you mean how rich did he just become. He sold TechCrunch, the tech industry blog he started, to the internet giant AOL – and with a flourish, because he signed the deal live on stage at a TechCrunch conference. When these deals happen, it is often TechCrunch that gets the scoop on things like price, but this time, he's signed a confidentiality agreement and isn't saying.

But we're happy for him?

Absolutely. Mr Arrington quit as a corporate lawyer in 1999 to try to profit from the boom, and he had been involved in numerous not-so-successful ventures until hitting paydirt with TechCrunch, a blog fashioned in his own obsessive, belligerent image.

When did it get started?

He founded it in 2005, and since breaking the acquisition of YouTube by Google in 2006, it has been the go-to source for news and gossip on Silicon Valley. No wonder AOL, which is no longer a go-to source for anything, is paying up for it.

I heard not everyone is happy for him.

That would be right. One of the reasons TechCrunch is brilliant is because Mr Arrington is willing to put people's backs up. Just last week he ratted out a meeting of some of his best contacts, angel investors who back start-up companies, who he said were acting like an illegal cartel. No problem: Mr Arrington loves a good feud.

Such as?

Well, talking of people not being happy, there was a visceralreaction to the AOL deal by Jason Calacanis, a prominent angel investor who was briefly in partnership with Mr Arrington. Someone on Twitter asked if he was still friends with the TechCrunch founder. He wrote: "The question is moot, a sociopath like Mike isn't capable of friendship-except w/dogs."