I’m pretty excited and happy to announce that today I’m taking over Crunch Report. “I am the captain now.”
I edited over 150 episodes of Crunch Report back when Sarah Lane hosted the show and I learned a lot: how to be super efficient at editing, learning what I personally liked and disliked about Crunch Report and basically eating, breathing and living this show.
Since Sarah left in March, there has been an awesome rotation of TC writers hosting the show: Anthony Ha, Megan Rose Dickey, Katie Roof and myself (not a writer). We were all temporarily filling in until there was someone permanent to fill the spot. Well, after a couple of months, I’m pretty pumped to let you know that I’m the one who’s going to be raging on Crunch Report. Lucky you.
So, on top of editing, sourcing material, shooting the show and distributing it to all the different platforms TechCrunch is on, I will also be writing and hosting it. It’s a pretty big task, but it is one that I know I am prepared for and one that I know, no matter what, I’m going to have a fun time doing. So, instead of just telling you that I’m the new host, I thought I’d tell you my journey to this point and maybe it can help with something you want to do, like start a show on TechCrunch.
Step 1: Be passionate
A good starting point is to be entirely obsessed with TechCrunch, like stalker-status obsessed. Like, you remember that girl when you were in high school you thought about everyday? Yeah? Well, TechCrunch should get you that excited and not just in the pantaloons, you dirty dog.
I have been a fan of TechCrunch since around 2010. I read it all the time. It was my go-to for technology news. Of course, there were other publications, but TC was always the first one on my list to get updates. I consumed everything TC covered. Then, one day in 2012 there was a competition to be an apprentice for VC George Zachary. I sent in some basic information and a one-minute video pitch to apply.
I received a free ticket to experience Disrupt and, most importantly, meet some TechCrunch people. Mike Arrington‘s on-stage interviews captivated me. Seeing Josh Constine and Kim-Mai Cutler in person, or the many other talented TC writers in their TC track jackets with their Twitter handles on their backs was like spotting celebrities. I was like a freaking kid in a freaking candy store!
That experience was a catalyst to get me involved in the startup community. I learned about lean startup methodology and actually built some of my own businesses. To this day, I read TechCrunch almost every day by choice — and, as a bonus, I get paid for it.
Step 2: Preparation meets opportunity meets luck
Create things. Be it writing, videos, photography, Snapchats or sandwiches. Create as many things as you can, as often as you can, and aim to try to make whatever you are working on better than the one before it. Constantly be creating. Try to one-up yourself. Allow other creators to influence you. Learn from them and then apply it. Look at ideas you can “exploit.” By that I mean that if you see something that’s working, take advantage of it and optimize it as best you can. Sometimes you really must create opportunities for yourself.
During the VC apprentice competition, I met the COO of TechCrunch Ned Desmond. I stayed in touch with him even if it was just to say, “Hi. How’s it going?”, to show him the latest video I created or to ask him if I could get a hook-up on a Disrupt ticket. I tried to remain on his radar and be available for anything TechCrunch might need. The first opportunity I had was freelance video work where I met the TC video team. At that time the team consisted of John Murillo, Yashad Kulkarni and Felicia Williams. I tried to be as helpful as I possibly could be. Then, after that I remained in touch.
My big “foot in the door” came when they hired Sarah Lane as an executive producer and good ol’ Ned, bless his soul, put my name in as a recommendation for a shooter/editor position. From then on it has been a montage: shooting, editing, traveling, learning and being creative, which for me is the most important.
Step 3: Work hard! And finish things.
The first time I edited Crunch Report, I was sweating profusely. My signature sweaty pits were on point that day and I think I was having an internal anxiety attack. It is not the easiest of edits. You have to source stories as they come in from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., shoot it at 2 p.m., then have it completely finished, turned around and edited by 3:30 p.m. That allows enough time to export and upload to all platforms ready to be viewed by the TC audience at 4 p.m. It’s one mofo of an edit.
“TC APP REVIEWS” was the first show of which I had absolute ownership and I pulled out all the stops. I put in loads of planning and pre-production on my own time and I even traded a SwiftDeck to a friend so he would create graphics for me. John Murillo and Joe Zolnoski were kind enough to lend me some of their time. We did the first video early in the morning before other shoots and sent the link to the higher-ups. They liked it and started airing it. It wasn’t something that was expected of me. I simply had the chance to make something I really wanted to do and I just did it. I didn’t talk about it (or even ask permission). I just went and made it happen. The culture at TC is very much a “get shit done” culture, which I very much thrive in.
As for Crunch Report, I wasn’t even in the lineup to host, but I really wanted to do it because I knew the “backend” (workflow, editing) so well that I really wanted to have fun with the “front end” (shooting, hosting). During a team meeting, Matthew Panzarino, the editor-in-chief of TechCrunch walked by and here was my chance. I blurted out in the middle of a video team meeting, “Can I host a Crunch Report?” Not sure what the outcome would be he replied, “yeah go for it.” I had all I needed to get started and I shot it that following Thursday. It was very trying the first time. It reminded me of the first time I edited Crunch Report: a little anxiety and a LOT of sweaty pits. However, I had a blast with it and the response was overwhelmingly positive, so here we are now.
This is that first episode.
Step 4: The future
Taking on Crunch Report means being 100 percent responsible for it and not working on any other shows, so I wasn’t sure exactly how I felt about it at first. However, after talking to many people inside and outside of TechCrunch, I am extremely excited what the future of Crunch Report holds. I vow to do my best to get you some tech news that is fun, entertaining and educational. I’ll never be able to fill Sarah Lane’s shoes, but now it’s my turn and I plan on delivering one hell of a show.
Just a quick shout out to the people on the video team past and present who were/are behind the scenes on this show. John Murillo, Yashad Kulkarni, Joe Zolnoski, Felicia Williams and Steve Long <3 all. Also, to the rest of the people inside and outside of TechCrunch who have been supportive, it is all deeply appreciated.