How To Get Our Attention, A Case Study

Many a post has come before this one on the special adventure that is pitching TechCrunch. And while most of our writers have their own preferences (Please don’t call my cell before 7 a.m. PDT unless you’re Google, and you’re buying Twitter. And you’ve made and will bring me breakfast in bed.) there’s definitely a right and wrong way to ping tips@techcrunch if you’re a startup hungry for coverage.

The following email thankfully fit into the former category.

On Jul 29, 2010, at 11:00 PM, Mark Nielsen wrote:

TechCruch Team,

Another late night, we’re tired, hopped up on caffeine, malnourished and could probably use a shower…but man do we love this startup S#!T. We are sitting here with the launch of our productivity tool ( – screenshots attached) around the corner and we figured hey, we dig a good read on the CRUNCH, wonder if they’d be interested in what’s been brewing in a garage somewhere in So-Cal. 6 months ago we were code heavy, experience freaks that just weren’t satisfied having to use Basecamp (or any other productivity tool) to manage our client projects. We decided we’d rather not see the light of day for awhile than have to live with knowing that with just a little bit of creative (ok, maybe a lot), a pinch of logic (more like a boat-load) and a dash of sexy (we’ll leave that one to your imagination), we could revive the productivity software world with a tool that would even make Apple cry. What’s happening — people, projects, documents, and more…under one rule. What’s brewing — wikis, CRM/opportunities and Money (intense accounting with style).

We are not

* Funded
* Backed by a PR firm

We are

* Virtually completely unknown to the blogosphere
* Literally in a garage right now (see attached picture)
* Underpaid
* Overworked
* Chomping at the bit to show the world what RULE is made of

What we want

* To give you the first taste. The only thing out there is our splash page and we want you to have the first peak at our product before we release the tour this week just prior to going live on Aug 3rd. This is last minute, so you guys may not be able to move on this before the tour, but we wanted you to have it anyways.
* To be notified before you release anything to the public

What’s on tap

* Friday July 30th, our tour goes live on our website still able to request an invite
* Tuesday August 3rd, we would like to give the public access to RULE unless someone gives us a better idea

Thank you for your time and dedication.


Mark Nielsen and Patrick Carmitchel


You know, just like with almost everything else in life, once you’ve got the “be interesting” thing down, that’s pretty much it. Hell, you don’t even have to spell the name of our blog right (Hint, it’s not “Techcruch”). Sure it helps if you do part of our job for us by providing screencaps, funding info, possible competitors, current functionality, future plans and launch dates, etc … but first and foremost don’t bore us. We’re business reporters, not robots.

Yes, sometimes there’s a fine line between “being creative” and “being a stalker” but the truth is that if you’ve done more than just copy and paste a press release, you’ve already surpassed about 70% of our inbox. So we want to hear that you’re hopped up on caffeine, malnourished and could probably use a shower… (So could we, actually). Despite the fact that our imaginations might be too vivid for your “dash of sexy,” anyone, I repeat ANYONE who thinks the words “work productivity” and “sexy” even remotely belong in the same sentence deserves some consideration.

We’re looking for stories, so have one. There is no Step 2.

Extra credit: Make sure to read this post. Also, it’s totally cool if you send us a picture of yourself in your garage, as long as you are fully clothed.

Garage photo, courtesy Mark Nielsen and Patrick Carmitchel.

You can read our coverage here.