On June 11, 2005 TechCrunch was born. Over the last five years the blog has grown from a simple hobby to a fast growing small business with twenty or so employees and one heck of a team of writers, engineers, sales people, event specialists and a burgeoning video team. All led by our fearless CEO Heather Harde.
The last five years have been the best of times, and the worst of times. Mostly it’s been a wonderful experience to watch companies grow from nothing but an idea scratched on a cocktail napkin to something more substantial. And in a very few cases, something that has changed our culture permanently. Entrepreneurs are such interesting animals.
Very early on TechCrunch expanded beyond Silicon Valley. Today we have properties in Europe and Asia, content is published in three languages (plus lots more via spam blogs), and we have writers all over the world – including Silicon Valley, New York, London, Brussels, Paris, Tel Aviv, Tokyo and, absurdly, Chicago. Roving editor Sarah Lacy fills in the gaps by constantly traveling to any place that has even a hint of entrepreneurism. Ten million people a month visit our properties from around the world.
And now we have someone in Seattle. Me.
This last weekend I moved my primary residence from Silicon Valley to Seattle. My plan is to roughly split my time between Seattle and Silicon Valley, and spend a lot more time on the road meeting entrepreneurs around the world.
Why Seattle? I’ve written before that the best of the best come to Silicon Valley to compete. Seattle is sort of like the minor leagues of the startup world, I’ve argued from the safety of Silicon Valley. A few stars here and there, but the vast majority of the winners come from northern California, where fierce competition quickly separates the winners from the losers, and the losers can try something new.
But that doesn’t mean Seattle isn’t a hotbed of entrepreneurism. There are scores and scores of startups here that are doing innovative and disruptive things, and I want to get right in the middle of things. Be an insider instead of just an occasional visitor.
But to be honest the biggest reason I’ve moved is to simply mix things up in my life. Like many people I tend to get bored if I stay in one place too long – five years is the longest I’ve lived anywhere since high school. It was time for a change.
And yes, the easy access to awesome skiing wasn’t a factor I ignored, either.
My friends (and sources) in Silicon Valley will hardly notice the difference – I travel so often that I’ve only been there about half the time anyway. But startups in Seattle will start seeing a lot more of me starting right now. I look forward to seeing what they are up to.
J. Michael Arrington (born March 13, 1970 in Huntington Beach, California) is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of TechCrunch, a blog covering startups and technology news. Arrington attended Claremont McKenna College (BA Economics, 1992) and Stanford Law School (JD, 1995) and practiced as a corporate and securities lawyer at two law firms: O’Melveny & Myers and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. His clients included idealab, Netscape, Pixar, Apple and a number of startups, venture funds and investment banks. He...