I’ve been in Las Vegas for most of the month and so have been out of the loop on some of the major stories rocking the world of technology and media. Stories like the startling news that, having made a sack-load of money from the sale of TechCrunch to AOL, Mike is going to begin investing in start-ups again.
jealous little fucks with a WordPress login uncompromising guardians of media impartiality, I was shocked – shocked – at the news, but unlike most of those guardians, I was reassured by the honesty of his disclosure. I also laughed at HuffPost’s official statement that – well – Mike is special and that everyone should stop whining.
“Michael Arrington operates from a unique position. He was an investor in technology companies and start-ups before he started TechCrunch, and his extensive knowledge of, and involvement with Silicon Valley is one of the very things that has made TechCrunch a must-read site. TechCrunch is committed to transparency.”
Indeed we are. And so, prompted by Mike’s ethical pivot, I’ve decided it’s time to update my own code of conduct, the previous version of which can be found here. After all, in the two years since I last updated the document, I’ve quit drinking, received another book advance and – yeah – made some cash from my own TechCrunch shares. The drinking thing alone has left me with more spare cash that I know what to do with.
Here then, for the record, are the relevant changes to my core ethics now that I am sickeningly rich…
“Principle One: I am a whore.”
In the previous version of my ethics statement, I explained that the quality of my work is directly related to how much I’m paid….
“Look at the cover of my book. See the word Whore? It’s in red. That’s because I am a whore; a hussy; a slut-for-hire; a man of scarlet letters. I write newspaper columns because people pay me to do so. I write books for the same reason. The more I get paid, the better I write…”
…Now that I am dripping with wealth, that is no longer the case. Henceforth, the quality of my work will be related only to whether I can be bothered to get out of bed in the morning. (Today was a sleepy day)
“Principle Four: What are friends for?”
Previously, I made clear that I would generally write mean things about my enemies and nice things about my friends…
“If you’re my friend I will write nice things about you; if you’re not I probably won’t.”
…Now that I have more money than I know what to do with, however, I no longer feel any loyalty towards my friends; I can always buy new ones. As for my enemies – I don’t need to write about them to get revenge; I can simply pay to have them killed.
In terms of my day-to-day interactions with PR professionals, I previously adopted a non-discrimination policy….
“When trying to hook up with your PR girl at your party, how attractive she is will play almost no part in my decision making. That would smack of discrimination.”
…That policy is no longer in operation.
“Bribery: If you buy me a Happy Meal as a bribe, I will refuse to accept the free toy. See also, Kinder Surprise eggs.”
A couple of simple text changes to the above. For “Kinder Surprise eggs”, now read “Fabergé Eggs”. For “Happy Meal”, read “Happy Ending”.
And finally, an all important note on stocks. In the previous iteration of my ethics statement, I made clear that I try to avoid owning stocks as all of my investments very quickly turn to shit. This is still the case, except now I deliberately invest my vast wealth in things specifically in the hope that my involvement will lead to their downfall.
Recent investments include $5,000 for 60% of ZDNet’s Tom Foremski’s sense of proportion and a little over $3.50 for a controlling stake in the editorial integrity Forbes.com. Both investments are performing nicely.