Michael Arrington Doesn’t Even Own Any Pajamas

Aussie technologist, Elias Bizannes, wrote a fascinating piece on what makes Michael Arrington and his TechCrunch brand so damn popular and successful.
image courtesy of Laughing Squid
Others have told about Arrington’s workaholic tendencies and drive. Bizannes breaks it down in the following manner:

  • Arrington’s background as a corporate lawyer and entrepreneur helped provide unprecedented access to Venture Capitalists (VCs) and the entrepreneurs who are desperate to get in front of them
  • A focus on offline networking–from parties at Arrington’s house to TechCrunch events
  • The fact that Arrington saw the Web 2.0 wave coming and was perfectly positioned to ride it in to shore
  • Superior content sprinkled with images

Get these things right and you too might become one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential people in the world. That is, if you’re also able to do the things Arrington does when he approaches a blog post. According to Steve Gillmor, Arrington’s formula goes like this:

  • Think of it first
  • Know you’re right
  • Be funny
  • Know that what you’re interested in is reason enough
  • Know when to quit (writing a post)
  • Listen to commenters
  • Portray the world in black and white
  • Add a tinge of outrage about things that most people don’t get worked up about
  • Don’t take anyone’s shit
  • Love what you do

I’ve always been somewhat surprised by the numbers TechCrunch and other tech blogs pull in. I understand that it’s a giant industry, but so is media, marketing and advertising and those industries have nothing like TechCrunch. If you look at Gawker as a media site, then okay maybe there’s one. But think of the ad blogs you know. Adrants has had the lead from the beginning and still has it, but Adrants is no TechCrunch. There simply is no equivalent.
As someone who has dedicated four plus years to this enterprise, I have to wonder if that can be changed. AdPulp started in Chicago when I was a woefully underemployed copywriter. Soon thereafter, I took a full time position again and ever since, I’ve had to fit that pursuit and this one into the same day. That’s about to change. My full time job ends next Wednesday, and while I’m nervous about what that means, I’m also exhilarated, as I intend to put even more energy and effort into AdPulp. I don’t know what 2009 will bring, but I have high hopes for the growth of this media brand.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.