Kevin Rose reflected on his relationship with the media today at TechCrunch Disrupt. TechCrunch reporter Colleen Taylor asked Rose what he thought of the media, given that his career has been more public than most.
“Worst cover ever,” Rose joked about this famous Business Week cover.
He focused on a recent Business Insider article, titled “The Inside Story On Why Kevin Rose Never Had A Big Hit.” Rose took issue with the piece saying that he wasn’t focused on his companies and never had a successful startup, calling it “a little unfair.”
He also claimed that Business Insider never contacted him for the piece and that the story wasn’t balanced.
“You wish you would have had a chance to talk to the person writing the article,” Rose said. “But that’s okay, that’s just how it goes.”
Rose has discussed this topic a bit before, most recently talking about the BusinessWeek cover in a video response to his AMA on Reddit.
Rose explained that BusinessWeek told him to bring different clothing and props to highlight him as a young entrepreneur for the three and a half hour photo shoot. Rose put the headphones around his neck and they took pictures of him holding newspapers, symbolizing Digg’s new media influence and Rose’s youth. Rose flashed a goofy thumbs up at Digg’s creative director and the photographer captured it. Rose asked him not to use the picture:
“Who would ever want that photo to be on the cover of any magazine? [The photographer] promised me he wouldn’t use it….they don’t give you any say in that stuff and it showed up on the cover of Businessweek. You take a look at something like that and say, ‘God I really wish they would have chose a different photo.’ And another part of me is like, ‘You know what, I don’t care if I was topless on the cover of Businessweek,because it’s just an honor to be on that magazine.’ It was kind of bittersweet.”
The magazine cover made Rose the poster child of a new wave of web startups; the iconic image has been used over and over again even as Rose moved on to new companies and, you know, aged past 16.
Kevin Rose is a Partner at Google Ventures, where he primarily focuses on early-stage and seed investments. Prior to joining Google Ventures, Kevin co-founded Milk, a mobile application development company in San Francisco. Previously Kevin was the founder of Digg, and co-founder of Revision3, and Pownce (acquired by Six Apart). In addition, Rose is the founder of Foundation, a private newsletter and podcast, and formerly was co-host of the tech news podcast Diggnation.