Rethinking contributors on TechCrunch

After a very successful two-year run, we’re going to be changing the way that contributions work on TechCrunch. When we started the Crunch Network experiment, the goal was to bring a wide array of voices to the site that were delivering deep domain-related experience that augmented the work of our staff writers.

The startup community is rich with people thinking hard about a lot of topics that we cover but may not have first-hand experience with, so it’s good to make sure there are other voices represented on TechCrunch.

Crunch Network has showcased some incredible work, amplified voices in areas that aren’t getting enough attention, and given amplification to some of the leading voices in our industry.

As long as there have been contributors on TechCrunch, our audience has been reaping the rewards of not curling up inside our own headspace. This is where the “unicorn” was coined, where U.S. senators came to speak to the most important readers in tech and where already insanely well-known and accomplished folks like Carmelo Anthony come to introduce themselves all over again.

Independent writers and respected industry investors and entrepreneurs have given us great (and insanely popular from a traffic standpoint) bits of wisdom. Whether it’s Roger Lee on how to communicate with your board, Elizabeth Clarkson on VC returns in 2017, James Altucher on the opportunities for entrepreneurship, Tom Goodwin’s examination of the battle over the interface, General Catalyst’s Hemant Taneja on the need to examine the gray box algorithms that you may be using in your own company, or A16z co-founder Ben Horowitz on the stabilizing advantages of pressure, there’s a lot of really great stuff in the archives; you should take a look.

However, over time, we noticed that the pipeline for the network had gotten a bit overrun with pieces that we strongly suspected were ghost-written by PR or really had no business being given the platform. For every gem, there were increasingly a lot of rocks.

Rather than sifting through an inbox of thousands of pitches looking for the diamond in the rough, our contributor network is going to go invite-only. There are more platforms than ever for people to get personal viewpoints out there and to practice their writing skills.

Given our limited resources and lean team that is focused on making TechCrunch better than ever this year, we’ve decided to give ourselves a break from wading through the boat trash in search of the good stuff.

What this means is that we’re sunsetting Crunch Network as you know it now, including the brand itself. Instead, we’ll be reaching out directly to folks in the venture, entrepreneurial, tech, academic, and artistic communities for their thoughts on how finance, science and industry are shaping the world of startups and the world at large.

The philosophy, we feel, is that if it’s good enough to get past our filters then it should feel like it belongs on the pages of TechCrunch, period. So a new phase of the experiment begins.

Jon is looking forward to working with all of you and we both appreciate all of the work that you have submitted over the life of the network. See you on the internet.