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November 08, 2006

How to Get in TechCrunch

Here’s a video of my interview with Mike Arrington of TechCrunch.

The salient question that Mike answers is, ”How do I get my company in TechCrunch?“ The short story is:

  1. The “standard answer” is to send an email to editor@techcrunch.com and take your chances. Thirty pitches come in per day this way.

  2. The most effective way is to get a referral from a venture capitalist or someone “known” who can speak on your behalf. Ten per come per day this way. Thirty plus ten equals forty, and he runs four stories per day, so you might think that ten percent make it. However, many of his stories are internally generated (followups, reports on what big companies do, etc.), so the actual percentage is much less.

  3. The key is how good the company is, not the “slickness” of the pitch. For example, an unpolished pitch for a great company will get through. Also, a great pitch for a lousy company won’t. Basically, you should assume that the bull-shiitake detector is always on.

  4. Speaking of bull shiitake, specifically don’t use descriptions such as “revolutionary,” “Web 2.0,” “huge,” “change the way you’ll use the Internet,” and “disruptive.” This is what Mike calls “cheap adjectives,” and they are kisses of death in Michael’s eyes.

  5. To describe what you do, you should provide a tangible frame of reference instead of using the usual bull shiitake. For example, one pitch that worked is "YouTube for PowerPoint." Many entrepreneurs are loath to mention other products and prefer cheap adjectives. This is a mistake.

  6. Finally, only the first two or three sentences count. If you don’t capture him that quick, you’re hosed.

In short, you should approach TechCrunch as you would a venture capitalist except that TechCrunch doesn’t write checks, but it can get you in front of 250,000 or so people.


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Comments

Thanks for the tip. This might come in handy in future!

Mike Johnston: It's actually from the startup conference held today.

I just got back to the hotel. Awesome that it's online so quickly -- gotta love the Internet.

I really enjoyed seeing it. It was a great interview, and definitely one of the most entertaining segments of the day.

Slightly off topic, but I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your presentation today at your "Art of the Start" conference. You conveyed a lot of good information in a highly entertaining and personable manner. And the audience clearly benefited!

What a great article. It was interesting from the perspective of someone who just got covered by techcrunch in the last 12 hours. I can attest that there is a traffic spike ....and it is instant.

They have a very good thing going there and as they continue to break major merger deals before mainstream media ....wow what an accomplishment.

I can only imagine the WSJ cringing at the fact that they had to quote techcrunch on the google/youtube deal.

Great job guys ...

cheers
scott

I found the best method is to just contact Mr. Arrington directly. I've had a couple friends develop some cool sites which I passed onto Mike... It took about 15 minutes to show up on TechCrunch.

Other than "connections", I'm going to say your service needs to be pretty cool or new. The concept doesn't even need to be useful, but beware that you might get a not-so-perfect review.

It's interesting to watch TechCrunch and stay up-to-date on who gets funded. If you make it to TechCrunch, you've got a hot shot at getting funded (or so it seems). I've seen some pretty crappy services roll out and claim millions in VC funding. The business model has become elusive, yet money is floating around like air. Go figure.

I can happily say that Garage's portfolio is one of the ONLY portfolios that actually take risks on REAL technology - not flashy mashups. Keep up the good work.

Great interview. I assume it was from your startup conference a week or so back. How often do you plan do have these conferences?

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