Dawn takes on TechCrunch

Dawn Douglass of MyFridj

That’s Dawn Douglass, in her booth at TechCrunch 40.

She takes on TechCrunch in a scathing post.

Writes “But I think TechCrunch is vulnerable as a company. Why? Because Arrington is abusing that power.”

Among other things.

She also notes “As a startup, isn’t it shooting yourself in the foot to openly, much less publicly, criticize the one who can create positive or negative buzz about something that you have poured your heart, soul and financial security into? ”

I know both Dawn and Mike. Dawn is the softest person you might imagine. I find her a breath of fresh air when it comes to entrepreneurs who are trying to get people to pay attention to their efforts. But now I know she speaks softly and carries a big stick!

As to the DemoPit. There was one thing I really hated about the DemoPit: The signage totally sucked. I walked around and couldn’t tell what any company did. That meant I’d need to go up to them and ask. Which guaranteed a four-minute pitch. Most of the time when I did that it was with companies I really didn’t care about. Please, Mike and Jason, next time you do that include a sign that has a sentence about what the company does. That’ll greatly increase the number of vendors I’ll go up to and engage with.

What do you think?

UPDATE: in defense of Jason and Mike, doing a 1.0 conference on the scale of TechCrunch 40 is really pretty awesome. Most of our industry conferences have had quite a few years to get to the place that TechCrunch got on the first one. Back in the 1990s I used to help plan conferences and they aren’t easy to do and rarely do they go completely how you plan. I remember seeing Mike a few days before TechCrunch 40 and he hadn’t slept, obviously was pouring his entire being into this. That’s something to be defended as well.

Comments

  1. Well, I’ve opined before that I think you should branch out a bit and talk to companies you don’t know you are interested UNTIL you talk to them.

    I think you should randomize more.

    Rob

  2. Well, I’ve opined before that I think you should branch out a bit and talk to companies you don’t know you are interested UNTIL you talk to them.

    I think you should randomize more.

    Rob

  3. Rob: I see lots of random companies. They come to me from all over the place. And standing in the hall there I got pitched to by at least 10 of the companies there. But it’s a waste of my time to not know what the companies do. It keeps other attendees from checking out more companies.

  4. Rob: I see lots of random companies. They come to me from all over the place. And standing in the hall there I got pitched to by at least 10 of the companies there. But it’s a waste of my time to not know what the companies do. It keeps other attendees from checking out more companies.

  5. I want what she’s on.

    Seriously: Michael writes the odd opinion piece and all of a sudden it’s a trashy personal blog…WTF? One company didn’t get any offers from the Demo Pit, yet a whole pile I spoke to had meeting after meeting lined up. She didn’t like some of the companies: neither did I but guess what: I bet our lists are different, as would yours Robert or anyone else reading this post: she totally doesn’t get the rule of subjectivity. Not every single startup out of the 50-100 leads we get every day gets printed, and Michael is abusing his power…WTF again; she’s obviously never heard of editorial choice as well. We have to pick and choose otherwise the site would have 50 posts + a day. I can’t help but think that someone has done something to her to make her so bitter and twisted that she’d write this without any sense of objectivity. Startups get pissy when they don’t get coverage…yet out readers get pissy when we post about crap startups: can’t win either way :-)

    BTW (for once perhaps ;-) ) I agree with you on the Demo Pitt: the signage wasn’t great, and you’ve totally hit the mark on what could have been done differently there.

  6. I want what she’s on.

    Seriously: Michael writes the odd opinion piece and all of a sudden it’s a trashy personal blog…WTF? One company didn’t get any offers from the Demo Pit, yet a whole pile I spoke to had meeting after meeting lined up. She didn’t like some of the companies: neither did I but guess what: I bet our lists are different, as would yours Robert or anyone else reading this post: she totally doesn’t get the rule of subjectivity. Not every single startup out of the 50-100 leads we get every day gets printed, and Michael is abusing his power…WTF again; she’s obviously never heard of editorial choice as well. We have to pick and choose otherwise the site would have 50 posts + a day. I can’t help but think that someone has done something to her to make her so bitter and twisted that she’d write this without any sense of objectivity. Startups get pissy when they don’t get coverage…yet out readers get pissy when we post about crap startups: can’t win either way :-)

    BTW (for once perhaps ;-) ) I agree with you on the Demo Pitt: the signage wasn’t great, and you’ve totally hit the mark on what could have been done differently there.

  7. Duncan – typical TechCrunch behavior, attack the messenger. Dawn was your biggest supporter on the TC40 message boards. When everyone else was trashing you before the event, she was always there supporting you.

    Now, instead of taking the stance that you have learned something and will make things better, you simply throw Dawn under the bus, implying she’s on drugs and describing her as ‘bitter and twisted.’

    Don’t count on anyone’s support in the future when you screw up. You’ve proven you won’t learn, you won’t listen, and you’ll always lash out.

    Good luck.

  8. Duncan – typical TechCrunch behavior, attack the messenger. Dawn was your biggest supporter on the TC40 message boards. When everyone else was trashing you before the event, she was always there supporting you.

    Now, instead of taking the stance that you have learned something and will make things better, you simply throw Dawn under the bus, implying she’s on drugs and describing her as ‘bitter and twisted.’

    Don’t count on anyone’s support in the future when you screw up. You’ve proven you won’t learn, you won’t listen, and you’ll always lash out.

    Good luck.

  9. Haven’t read her whole post yet, but will tonight.

    It’s funny, the folks on stage were upset they didn’t have a table and the folks with the tables were upset they didn’t have what the folks on stage had.

    Most of this was based on a) not having a ton of time, b) adding the demopit last minute, c) doubling the presenting companies from 20 to 40, d) it being our first show, etc.

    Next year I think we’ll do a lot things better including (and this is all being debated now):

    a) everyone will getting a table in the demo pit
    b) more time in the schedule so folks have more free time
    c) a profile of every company in the book
    d) MAYBE giving each company two days in the demo pit (maybe not, i kind of like the flip over because people came back for day two)
    e) better signs as you’re saying… description of companies
    f) a bigger venue with more wifi/ethernet
    g) perhaps more companies (perhaps less!)
    h) more video monitors showing what was going on with the main stage (i.e. in the demopit and lunchroom).

    It’s all a learning experience.

    In terms of Mike’s position in the industry I think he’s doing a great job balancing the fact that his little personal blog has become the “The Industry Standard” for this generation of tech startups. He’s adding great editors, they are taking the load off him and he’s focusing on big picture stuff. The level of talent he’s bringing on in terms of business (i.e. new CEO) and editors ensures that the publication will have a wider world view.

    Heck, partnering with me on the conference ensures that it doesn’t have just his world view, but also mine.

    Mike’s a great guy with a big heart, and an impossible job. Folks are calling him the “kingmaker” already and that’s just unfair. He’s a blogger who knows his stuff cold. He’s also a human who has his own perspective and who is so blunt that sometimes folks take it the wrong way.

    Scoble and I can both tell you about that being blunt thing (as can some others who will go without a name for now :-).

    Great feedback, keep it coming… and we’ll promise to get better.

    best j

  10. Haven’t read her whole post yet, but will tonight.

    It’s funny, the folks on stage were upset they didn’t have a table and the folks with the tables were upset they didn’t have what the folks on stage had.

    Most of this was based on a) not having a ton of time, b) adding the demopit last minute, c) doubling the presenting companies from 20 to 40, d) it being our first show, etc.

    Next year I think we’ll do a lot things better including (and this is all being debated now):

    a) everyone will getting a table in the demo pit
    b) more time in the schedule so folks have more free time
    c) a profile of every company in the book
    d) MAYBE giving each company two days in the demo pit (maybe not, i kind of like the flip over because people came back for day two)
    e) better signs as you’re saying… description of companies
    f) a bigger venue with more wifi/ethernet
    g) perhaps more companies (perhaps less!)
    h) more video monitors showing what was going on with the main stage (i.e. in the demopit and lunchroom).

    It’s all a learning experience.

    In terms of Mike’s position in the industry I think he’s doing a great job balancing the fact that his little personal blog has become the “The Industry Standard” for this generation of tech startups. He’s adding great editors, they are taking the load off him and he’s focusing on big picture stuff. The level of talent he’s bringing on in terms of business (i.e. new CEO) and editors ensures that the publication will have a wider world view.

    Heck, partnering with me on the conference ensures that it doesn’t have just his world view, but also mine.

    Mike’s a great guy with a big heart, and an impossible job. Folks are calling him the “kingmaker” already and that’s just unfair. He’s a blogger who knows his stuff cold. He’s also a human who has his own perspective and who is so blunt that sometimes folks take it the wrong way.

    Scoble and I can both tell you about that being blunt thing (as can some others who will go without a name for now :-).

    Great feedback, keep it coming… and we’ll promise to get better.

    best j

  11. Thank you for the link, Robert. I just posted a follow-up, which is also long (sorry), but it’s important, and I hope at least a few people will read it. It’s a call for Open Advertising for those of us in the Long Tail.

    Open Advertising, I believe, will server as an effective counter to the concentrations of power that are emerging in the blogosphere, which threaten the promise of what should be the Web’s open access and level playing field.

  12. Thank you for the link, Robert. I just posted a follow-up, which is also long (sorry), but it’s important, and I hope at least a few people will read it. It’s a call for Open Advertising for those of us in the Long Tail.

    Open Advertising, I believe, will server as an effective counter to the concentrations of power that are emerging in the blogosphere, which threaten the promise of what should be the Web’s open access and level playing field.

  13. Robert, I have organised conferences too and I am a student. USD 2000 ones…way smaller than a D: All things D or a T40, but hey, I had sleepless nights before the event as well. It’s not about the sleepless nights Robert, it’s about how much thought and attention to detail. Sleepless nights mean jacksh## if some of my delegates or participants had no place to sit during the conference etc etc. I am all in favour of DD here.

  14. Robert, I have organised conferences too and I am a student. USD 2000 ones…way smaller than a D: All things D or a T40, but hey, I had sleepless nights before the event as well. It’s not about the sleepless nights Robert, it’s about how much thought and attention to detail. Sleepless nights mean jacksh## if some of my delegates or participants had no place to sit during the conference etc etc. I am all in favour of DD here.

  15. Have to repeat Angel’s words.

    Duncan, did you even *read* that post?

    She wasn’t pissy about startups not getting coverage — though that was something to be said — she was angry about the fact that Michael (directly or indirectly) encouraged all the startups who applied and didn’t get selected to pay the $2500 (let alone get excited about attending the event and having a place in the Demo Pit) only to find that not only was their product get any interest whatsoever from the media/bloggers but that no one at the event was willing to even talk to them.

    Jason seems to have hit upon the art of responding to criticism and you should learn something from him. Know your subject matter before you say something about it (which somehow Jason did a good job of even without doing!). Just blabbering about something and saying “WTF?” to defend the new boss you receive pay checks from (and you’d be nothing without) is amateurish and unprofessional. Makes me wonder if it was really you or Arrington urging you to say something in his ‘absence’ — seeing that he’s failed to acknowledge this incident all together.

  16. Have to repeat Angel’s words.

    Duncan, did you even *read* that post?

    She wasn’t pissy about startups not getting coverage — though that was something to be said — she was angry about the fact that Michael (directly or indirectly) encouraged all the startups who applied and didn’t get selected to pay the $2500 (let alone get excited about attending the event and having a place in the Demo Pit) only to find that not only was their product get any interest whatsoever from the media/bloggers but that no one at the event was willing to even talk to them.

    Jason seems to have hit upon the art of responding to criticism and you should learn something from him. Know your subject matter before you say something about it (which somehow Jason did a good job of even without doing!). Just blabbering about something and saying “WTF?” to defend the new boss you receive pay checks from (and you’d be nothing without) is amateurish and unprofessional. Makes me wonder if it was really you or Arrington urging you to say something in his ‘absence’ — seeing that he’s failed to acknowledge this incident all together.