“So we begin another journey. I fully intend to stay with AOL for a very, very long time.” – Me, one year ago.
A year ago yesterday we announced the acquisition of TechCrunch by Aol. But it wasn’t until September 29 that the deal officially closed. Today marks the one year anniversary of that acquisition, an important milestone both psychologically and contractually.
Congratulations to everyone at TechCrunch who made it to the one year mark. As I said on stage at Disrupt a couple of weeks ago, the thing I’m most proud of is the team we built at TechCrunch, and the fact that we managed to keep that team together post-acquisition. It is the most talented writing team I have ever seen, led by the most talented CEO I’ve ever met.
Unfortunately I’m no longer there. Neither is Paul Carr. And over time more people will leave. TechCrunch will evolve into whatever it’s supposed to be when it grows up, and I hope that it continues to be something I’m proud of.
One thing is certain, though. It has been a very, very good year for TechCrunch. As of the day I left the company revenues were up 50% year over year from 2010. Profits had more than tripled. Unique visitors are up 25% (12.2 million) and page views are up 30% to over 42 million.
Congrats to the TechCrunch team and also to Aol on what is most certainly a successful business acquisition.
With the exception of a very large faceplant over the last several weeks Aol kept their initial promise not to interfere with TechCrunch’s editorial process. The problem is that I don’t think that was just a one time hiccup. From what I can tell right now (as an outsider), Huffington Post is actually becoming more involved, not less, in TechCrunch’s day to day editorial decisions. Public executions of leaders tend to have a severe chilling effect on whoever takes over, and Arianna Huffington is, without a doubt, the current editor in chief of TechCrunch.
It is my sincere hope that over time TechCrunch is able to carve out some level of independence for itself. Because, as a reader, I want TechCrunch to live on. And stay the voice, however controversial, of Silicon Valley. Tranparency, Truth and Bias. The TechCrunch way.
ps – The logo above is the very first TechCrunch logo from 2005. It didn’t last long. Fred Oliveira redesigned the site and the logo and by 2006 the site looked like this: