William Shatner once asked me what exactly I was doing at TechCrunch, the blog I started in June 2005. Let’s put aside the fact that I was testing out a new service that got celebrity autographs and a video in exchange for cash. I actually never answered his question.
I never really did know what I was doing at TechCrunch. I was writing about startups while building a startup and investing in others. It never occurred to me that as the site became, almost immediately, an important part of the tech news scene, to figure out exactly what my plans were.
One thing I knew for sure was that I’d never trick readers, or lie to them, or otherwise be shady. It’s not me. And even if it was me, it’s too easy to get caught. The easy path was the one where transparency was shining brightly.
That was never enough to stop the journalism community’s antibodies from hitting TechCrunch hard over all the conflicts of interest that were inherently part of who I am. We fought through all that for years, and I kept fighting until my pen was removed from my hand, so to speak, by Aol a couple of weeks ago.
Now I’ve got a new pen, though. And a blank slate. Infinite choices, I get to choose my own path. All that jazz.
So as William Shatner would undoubtedly ask if I gave him another $149, what exactly am I going to do here at Uncrunched?
I’m going to do the same thing I’ve been doing since 2005. I’m going to write about startups, and the people who build them, and the people who fund them, and the people who use them. I’m going to break stories and I’m going to write my opinion, and I’m going to write whatever the hell else I feel like in between. If people want to read what I write, yay. If they don’t, I can live with that too.
Here are the things you can expect from me:
– TRANSPARENCY: I will disclose, as I’ve always done, all financial conflicts of interest (I have lots and lots of those). I’ll also disclose other conflicts of interest, like friendships, when I can. I know a lot of you don’t understand why I can’t disclose all conflicts of interest. The answer is that if I did, not that many people would want to talk to me in the direct, honest way that I prefer. As a reader you must remain aware of the inherent bias in everything you read, and form your own opinions accordingly. Read this post on TechCrunch and the links for more about how I see the world.
– TRUTH: I always try to find the truth in a situation. That unvarnished, pure nugget of truth at the core of every issue that I write about. Sometimes this takes more than one post, and sometimes I have to go back and correct things I’ve gotten wrong. I’ll continue to do that. For more on this, read my post about process journalism.
– BIAS: I have lots of it, and I never try to ignore it or hide from it. The main thing to know about me is that I’m a champion of entrepreneurs and the startups they build. They are my rock stars. If in doubt I side with them, and that’s clear from my writing. For more on this, read my pirate post and my thoughts on how government can best help Silicon Valley.
Ok, now that we’ve got that stuff behind us, let’s do some blogging!