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.