Jason Kincaid Exits TechCrunch

A whole lot of amazing people have left TechCrunch in the last several months. I’m sad to hear that the next to go is Jason Kincaid (his personal blog is here), who is leaving without firm plans for his next job.

I first met Jason in 2008 via Mark Hendrickson who was working at TechCrunch at the time. Like many of the writers we hired it was a very quick interview. He was just out of UCLA with a biology degree and was thinking of freelancing with the Economist. I hired him on the spot under a 30 day trial period, which I used as a sort of extended interview period with many new writers. Within days we’d hired him full time and since then he’s been part of the foundation team at the site. He was definitely a keeper.

One of my favorite Kincaid memories was when he discovered a new “fax” feature on Facebook that the company had launched just for TechCrunch writers hoping that we noticed it. Jason did.

But I also remember the many, many big stories he scooped. Here’s just the most recent one. Another example – He broke the story about Apple banning the Google Voice app from iOS, which led to a FCC investigation. There are countless other examples of his diligent and brilliant work.

Jason has the rare ability in a writer to both break big stories on his own, as well as write strong opinion articles on the topics of the day. Younger writers (who were often older than him) looked to him for leadership and guidance. He could have quite easily run TechCrunch entirely after we left.

As much as old tech empires continue to criticize the work of sites like TechCrunch, they were constantly trying to hire Jason away from us. I once sent an email to Damon Darlin, the tech editor at the NY Times, asking him curtly to please stop trying to raid our writing team. He was at the time aggressively pursuing Kincaid. Many others also tried to steal him away.

It’s a big loss for TechCrunch to lose Jason now. Whatever he does next, it will be amazing.

Image from down the avenue.

Update: Kincaid’s farewell post.

Update 2: Paul Carr writes about Jason on Pando Daily.

Update 3: TechCrunch’s post on Jason.

23 thoughts on “Jason Kincaid Exits TechCrunch

  1. Max Woolf says:

    I understand Greg leaving for PandoDaily and Robin leaving for TNW (blog to blog), but Jason leaving *without* a firm job opportunity? Just what is going on at TechCrunch?

    • tundey says:

      What’s happening at TC? The same thing that happens when an inspiration boss sells out to The Man and The Man, true to his nature, doesn’t run the company the same way the inspiration boss did. Sure you can blame The Man but that’s like blaming a Zebra for having stripes.

  2. Ouch. I’ve always enjoyed Jason’s writing.
    Another loss I think TC will feel keenly.

  3. Nick says:

    I really enjoyed reading Jason’s articles. This is a big loss for TechCrunch. I wish Jason all the best.

  4. Nick says:

    … and look forward to seeing his next endeavour!

  5. Big news for Jason. He’s a great writer. For some reason, every time you mention Mark, I just see Loren Feldman’s Arrington Puppet yelling, “HENDRICKSON!”

    Good times.

  6. David Callahan says:

    … not a real surprise here. Mike, this article should be a celebration… although the first part reads like an eulogy! This is good for Jason — by leaving AOL/TC, he is “moving on up.”
    “AOL/TechCrunch” has been dying from the moment the original team started leaving…
    He will be fine.

  7. It’s getting close to complete sweep of the top talent at ‘Techcrunched’. In retrospect the worst move you ever made was selling to AOL.

  8. Jackson says:

    First!

  9. Maggie says:

    What is happening with TechCrunch lately? All the amazing people are leaving. It used to be a go-to place for any launch and now Mashable is quickly taking over..

  10. wittejoe says:

    What are the main reasons for the jump? Structure? Compensation? Control?

  11. PatDDixon says:

    Jason will do well, wherever he goes, he is brilliant as we all know. In the one personal email contact I had with him, it was obvious that he is talented and tactful. best wishes Jason! (another Pandodaily recruit maybe)

  12. Giselle says:

    This is a huge loss for TechCrunch. I don’t think it can get any lower than this.

  13. Alexa Lee says:

    This one was brilliant and very impactful. I’m quite sure that Jason set off the widespread use of demo videos that you see these days. “The Underutilized Power Of The Video Demo To Explain What The Hell You Actually Do.” http://techcrunch.com/2009/10/11/the-underutilized-power-of-the-video-demo-to-explain-what-the-hell-you-actually-do/. Best of luck to a gem of a reporter!

  14. Aw man, and his show with MG was excellent

  15. Love the 30 day extended interview. All startups should do that. Mike, what % of 30 day trial hires ended up going long term?

    • The Employment rate based on current BLS numbers is over 90%.. Real unemployment rate is maybe at 85%. So with 85% more or less gainfully employed, how many folks would ever switch a job for a 30 day extended interview? I know California is at will employment, but to explicitly have a 30 day type period to see if it “works” is a tough sell.

      It would be good for maybe the unemployed, but I am thinking works better for new grads like Jason was back then.

  16. Raaj Trambadia says:

    Oh !! I’ll miss his words. Anyways ….whatever happens, there’s always good about it :) Cheers

    And please check out my latest post on love – http://raajtram.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/love-sometimes-stupidity-d/

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