I’ve been asked repeatedly this last week about how it is I fell out with Michael Arrington. Not helped by this post at Valleywag. I know Owen is on holidays, because if he was there I would have received an email asking me about it (and for the record, I would have replied). I’m still waiting for that email. Also, I don’t think I’m a nerd. My degree was in Marketing (well ecommerce as well), and until I started blogging for a living I was for all intents and purposes a PR hack. I cope with geek better 😉
I don’t want to rehash the whole thing. Suffice to say Michael wasn’t happy with my deal with Tradevibes. It was a business deal, nothing more, nothing less. Tradevibes approached me with a great deal that delivered a co-branded company database site for The Inquisitr. I’ve always thought that the notion of having a site like this was a solid idea, but starting one from scratch was, in my current situation, which is self funded from savings, tight budget, and very much revenue negative at just shy of 2 months, something that I couldn’t do. Arrington and Cruchbase dealt only in loyalty, but with no real incentive. They even link condomed the links back out to those who used the Crunchbase embeds. I respect the avoid spam argument, but there was no actual incentive there.
Michael wasn’t happy. I received an email from him a week ago, after getting in very late from Pubcamp saying as such. It was personal. He made it personal, but it never was. It’s not as though I’d stopped linking to TechCrunch. Tradevibes copied Crunchbase no more that Crunchbase copied Killerstartups, and the idea of Wiki’s is hardly new. To this day I don’t believe that the deal was an affront to TechCrunch, and I asked myself whether if Michael was me if he’d have done the deal. I actually thought about it, he would have. It made sense, from a business perspective, and I still believe today that it’s a great value add for The Inquisitr.
Michael dislikes the fact that Tradevibes does deals with Mashable, but that has always been a dislike of his I’ve never understood. Besides, investors in Tradevibes include Ron Conway, a co-investor in Seesmic with Michael, and Dave McLure, one of the smartest guys I’ve had the privilege of meeting…and both times I’ve met the guy were at Arringtons house!
This will be my final word on the matter. It will probably make no difference, but I will say publicly that the fallout has deeply saddened me. For all of Michael’s interesting ways with people, I’ve always spoken extremely highly of him in private, and I think of a Calacanis adage about those who work the hardest achieve, because till the day I die I’ll probably never see anyone again who works as hard as Michael.