There is a lot to be said about TechCrunch founder and my former boss Michael Arrington, but nothing more true than this; The technology community owes him immensely for the value he created in the six years he built and led the editorial voice of TechCrunch. I can’t wait to see what he creates next.
Arrington has weathered a lot in the time he went from Edgeio co-founder to Crunchfund founder and partner and has undoubtedly learned a few hard-won lessons. Speaking at the Founder’s Institute’s Eighth Quarterly Founder’s Showcase last week, Arrington imparted the best of those lessons to the entrepreneurs and wannabe entrepreneurs in the crowd.
The most important thing to realize as an entrepreneur, Arrington said, was that although founders need to work hard at getting themselves in the right place at the right time, for the most part success is a matter of luck.
“The strategy of being lucky is all that matters. I raised a fund and I put myself in a position to make money if we’re lucky. That’s where we all are. How many would-be Mike Moritzes are there out there? Luck plays a huge factor in everything in life. I agree that you make your own luck but you got to be in a position to be there when it happens. You make your own luck, but it’s still luck. If you fail it doesn’t mean you suck, it means the luck didn’t go your way and then you keep trying.
If we say that ‘Failure doesn’t matter it doesn’t make you a loser,’ it also means that success doesn’t make you that much of a winner. To some extent you put yourself in a position where something’s going to happen and if it didn’t work out you try again. We shouldn’t pat ourselves on the back too much when we’re successful, because a lot of it is luck.”
“So how is Arrington going to be a major force moving forward?” interviewer Adeo Ressi asked.
“We’ll make really good investments and make a ton of money,” he responded.
Note: “Luck” speech begins about 20:00 or so in.
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...