Posted on June 3, 2008
Filed Under Web 2.0 Kool Aid |
With the increasing level of arrogance in the egosphere, a sense of entitlement on the part of egomaniacs (sorry, A-list bloggers) certainly couldn’t have been far behind.
I found the best example of it today in the “clash” between TechCrunch and Internet music startup TuneCore.
TechCrunch “CrunchBase Analyst” (read: intern) Peter, sent the following email to :
Hello, I’m currently conducting research for TechCrunch’s company database (CrunchBase.com). Can you give me information on the funding TuneCore has had to date? Can you provide me with the rounds, amounts, dates and investors? Thanks for your help.
TuneCore CEO Jeff Price responded:
Why are you asking. How will this information be used? Who are you? Who funds you?
Peter in turn replies:
TechCrunch.com is a blog that profiles new Internet products and companies. The site is read by many people in the Silicon Valley crowd (venture capitalists, angel investors, people involved with startups, etc). We are independent and a small startup ourselves. You can read about our founder and the company’s beginnings here…
Crunchbase.com is our database of companies, people and financial organizations. The database shows general information about companies/people/finacial orgs and we try to show how things are connected. For example, if you go to Google’s CrunchBase page you can click on their funding, click on Sequoia Capital, and you’ll be shown other companies Sequoia has invested in. Or if you click on their address, you can see other companies located nearby.
TuneCore’s page can be found here…
I’m a CrunchBase Analyst and one of my jobs is to make sure pages are as complete as possible. I’m asking for TuneCore’s funding info so we can place it in CrunchBase. Hopefully that answers your questions. Let me know if you have any further questions.
Finally, Price ends the conversation with:
Thank you for educating me on your site.
Here is a link to all of our press releases for more information on TuneCore
I suspect you might have better luck getting information if you did not cold contact the CEO and state you want to know sensitive information without first establishing a relationship and context
TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington, either amused or miffed that somebody would rebuff any request from TechCrunch, felt obligated to turn a non-story into a post entitled “TuneCore Tells Us Where We Can Shove It” by publicizing Price’s emails (something he seems to be very into lately - all under the guise that TechCrunch is engaging in journalism, except when it’s not).
Can anybody say “entitlement complex”?
While I wouldn’t argue that Price couldn’t have rejected TechCrunch’s request a bit more tactfully, Price’s position is actually quite sensible. A person unknown to him sent a tiny email containing little more than a request for some of the most sensitive information a private company can divulge.
What does Michael Arrington expect?
It doesn’t take a psychologist to figure out: he expects that all entrepreneurs should know about TechCrunch and be so grateful that TechCrunch has taken an interest in their startups that they will, with nothing more than a three sentence email, provide financial information that many private companies are not willing to share.
I’ll let an anonymous commenter state the obvious:
June 3rd, 2008 at 3:12 pm
While I am a daily reader and fan of TechCrunch, I think you are a bit out of line, and border on becoming hyper arrogant lately. As shocked as you may be that you are not a household name across the entire planet or even simply outside of Silicon Valley, it is fact you are not. Seriously, get grounded.
Peter’s initial email made a huge assumption that the recipient of his email is aware of both TechCrunch and CrunchBase as well as their respective motives. Peter asked for sensitive business information without first establishing any connection. Jeff reacted appropriately, especially considering the huge demands of a CEO.
Be the better man, and offer an apology to correct the situation before lambasting the very people that give you the opportunity at hand.
The reason I’m posting about this is that I find the implications intriguing in the context of .
It’s obvious that in the circle jerk called the technology blogosphere, conflicts of interest are a minor inconvenience and accuracy is optional.
But incestuous relationships and back scratching are one thing - the public teasing/intimidation/humiliation of those individuals and startups that refuse to give information to bloggers who feel entitled to it is different.
There’s something disturbing about this and I think it demonstrates that the blogosphere has a long way to go before it can realistically portray itself, on the whole, as a true journalistic medium.
Ironically, such pompous behavior, in the long run, will not inure to the benefit of those who engage in it.