With TechCrunch’s fifth birthday less than 24 hours away, a certain degree of navel gazing is appropriate, if not required. On Wednesday afternoon, TechCrunch founder and newly minted Seattle resident, Michael Arrington, dropped by Atlassian’s Starter Day for a double header: an interview with Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman and “Tom Cruise” (more on that later).
Over the last few years, Arrington has interviewed Kelman several times (most recently here), but at Starter Day, Kelman got to turn the proverbial tables on Arrington, taking the questions to him. For those who want a primer, or more insight on the origins of TechCrunch, why he hasn’t sold the company yet, why he doesn’t think he would make a good CEO, and the value of boat ownership, see the video above.
Now on a more serious note, what about that “Tom Cruise” video you ask? Well yes, this also happened:
Some of you might have seen “Tom Cruise” in this Mac Vs. PC spoof or on FunnyOrDie:
Dead-on Cruise cackle aside, “Tom Cruise” is actually Evan Ferrante, an actor and producer who launched his Hollywood career on his uncanny knack for mimicking Cruise’s swagger and yes, memorizing virtually every line in Jerry Maguire and Top Gun.
What started off as a way to meet women in college with his friend (who of course, had a natural Jean-Claude Van Damme impression), quickly turned into a handful of viral videos on YouTube and FunnyOrDie, and ultimately a legitimate career.
After doing some recent online work with Disney as “Tom Cruise”, which was packaged with content for the Twilight series, Ferrante says his career took off with corporate gigs and commercial work at home and abroad (apparently the Tom Cruise impersonation business is huge in Australia). His next move: an upcoming HBO documentary, Teenage Paparazzo, a project he co-produced that will apparently not include any Cruise cameos. Our brief backstage interview with Ferrante is below.
What does this have to do with TechCrunch’s Fifth birthday? Absolutely nothing, but it is a gold mine for TechCrunch readers who’ve always wanted to see a slightly amused, slightly confused Arrington bombarded by a barrage of Tom Cruise-isms.
If you would like to contact Evan Ferrente for an event, before he actually reaches Tom-Cruise-level-fame, you can reach him at email@example.com.
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...
Mr. Kelman is Redfin’s CEO. Prior to joining Redfin, he was a co-founder of Plumtree Software, a Sequoia-backed, publicly traded company that created the enterprise portal software market. In his seven years at Plumtree, Mr. Kelman at different times led engineering, marketing, product management and business development; he also was responsible for financing and general operations in Plumtree’s early days. Prior to starting Plumtree, Mr. Kelman worked as one of the first employees at Stanford Technology Group, a Sequoia-backed...