Be a sponsor and TechCrunch changes their tune

Freshness Warning
This blog post is over 15 years old. It's possible that the information you read below isn't current and the links no longer work.

At Under The Radar a few months ago, Mike Arrington was one of the judges for a panel on web-based productivity apps. One of the companies that presented was Zoho, a company that’s building web office apps using OpenOffice.org as the backend. Arrington was particularly hostile toward Zoho and made it rather clear he didn’t like them. From my notes on the session...

Arrington: You’re perceived as second on everything. Features seem to be copies of everyone else. And PR efforts are too aggressive. Zoho: Not really. Arrington: You’ve gotten in fights on my blog comments with 37signals and Chillis. Zoho: they apologized. They’re copying us.

So imagine my surprise today when TechCrunch carried a blog entry thanking their current sponsors and making nice about all of them—including Zoho.

Zoho has quietly put together one of the best and one of the fastest Ajax office suites.

It seems that all it takes to go from "features seem to be copies of everyone else" to "best and fastest" is a little cash.

Michael Arrington
June 20, 2006 12:13 PM

Adam, Hey, we know each other. Why not give me a call and at least ask my opinion before writing? The fact is that, in my opinion, zoho has done a lot in the last six months. They are a sponsor because I now like the product, not the other way around. And I'm dead serious about that. There are other sponsors that I could have taken, but I want to promote startups when I can. Now if this is mostly about tagyu, just ping me (again) and we'll take a look. I know we've missed writing about it repeatedly. Mike

Gen Kanai
June 21, 2006 3:09 AM

Mike, if your stance on Zoho has changed, you need to be up front with your readers on this issue, lest they make assumptions. There's no way Adam could have known that your opinion had changed unless you shared that with us. Plus, as I'm sure you know, it's untenable to try to contact each/every person/company/org. one might be blogging about.

Sridhar Vembu
June 21, 2006 8:05 AM

Adam: I want to set the record straight here. We at Zoho approached Mike several months ago and he did not accept our sponsorship. More recently, he took a good look at our applications, and he liked what he saw. He felt we have come a long way. He was going to write about us. Once we proposed to sponsor TechCrunch, it was understood that it would actually lower our probability of being written about, to avoid precisely this kind of criticism. Mike is doing his job, and we at Zoho are proud to be sponsors of TechCrunch. Sometimes the truth may be hard to believe, but this is all there is to it. Now, have you looked at Zoho lately? I am sure you will agree we have come pretty far in the past few months, and more services are coming soon. Sridhar Vembu

Adam Kalsey
June 21, 2006 12:32 PM

Mike, while we've met, I wouldn't characterize it as we know each other. We spent a good 15 minutes standing next to each other at the UTR cocktail party in March and neither of us bothered to even say hello. You imply that I've got your phone number and could have given you a call. Perhaps I could have Skyped you (like you're ever online and available) or emailed you, but I wouldn't even know how to go about calling you. I don't take issue with you taking on Zoho as a sponsor, but why do you feel the need to blog about each sponsor and say nice things about them? You just run the risk of compromizing your principals. Making nice to Zoho after being just plain compative with them two months ago is odd. So is taking money from (and saying nice things about) search engine spammers. See http://www.valleywag.com/tech/michael-arrington/google-spammers-fund-techcrunch-182402.php Consumer Reports doesn't take advertising precisely to avoid these sorts of conflicts of interest. It's hard to provide objective reviews when you're taking money from the companies you review. It's even harder to appear subjective.

Shane
June 21, 2006 7:55 PM

Rodney King would be ashamed, but anyway "can't we all just get along"

Anthony Jacobs
August 27, 2006 9:58 AM

Someone please tell me the reason for bloging and does'nt it expose you and start gossip

dLook
June 2, 2007 8:50 PM

Adam For what it's worth, I would take a close look at Techcrunch and see what it is that makes it so popular. For instance the only reason I have even heard of your site is that it features on mahalo under "Techcrunch Bashing". Still, I suppose that the old saying "any publicity is good publicity" might be something you subscribe to.

This discussion has been closed.

Recently Written

The Trap of The Sales-Led Product (Dec 10)
It’s not a winning way to build a product company.
The Hidden Cost of Custom Customer Features (Dec 7)
One-off features will cost you more than you think and make your customers unhappy.
Domain expertise in Product Management (Nov 16)
When you're hiring software product managers, hire for product management skills. Looking for domain experts will reduce the pool of people you can hire and might just be worse for your product.
Strategy Means Saying No (Oct 27)
An oft-overlooked aspect of strategy is to define what you are not doing. There are lots of adjacent problems you can attack. Strategy means defining which ones you will ignore.
Understanding vision, strategy, and execution (Oct 24)
Vision is what you're trying to do. Strategy is broad strokes on how you'll get there. Execution is the tasks you complete to complete the strategy.
How to advance your Product Market Fit KPI (Oct 21)
Finding the gaps in your product that will unlock the next round of growth.
Developer Relations as Developer Success (Oct 19)
Outreach, marketing, and developer evangelism are a part of Developer Relations. But the companies that are most successful with developers spend most of their time on something else.
Developer Experience Principle 6: Easy to Maintain (Oct 17)
Keeping your product Easy to Maintain will improve the lives of your team and your customers. It will help keep your docs up to date. Your SDKs and APIs will be released in sync. Your tooling and overall experience will shine.

Older...

What I'm Reading

Contact

Adam Kalsey

+1 916 600 2497

Resume

Public Key

© 1999-2021 Adam Kalsey.