When your biannual business event has been satirized by Mike Judge, you need to level up, which is a casual phrase humans say to other humans. And, oh, what a level this year's TechCrunch Disrupt "Battlefield" showed us. Corruption! Hubris! Exploitation! Investment from Michael Arrington! Butlers! It truly had it all.
It's not easy being Michael Arrington. To kickoff TechCrunch Disrupt SF this morning, the Uber investor directed a fierce and poignant native ad for his CrunchFund investment Uber—right there on stage, in real-time. With Uber CEO Travis Kalanick by his side, it was a veritable duet of damage control! But then Lyft investor Peter Thiel had to spoil the cozy fireside mood by acting just like Arrington.
Most of the scenes in the final three episodes of HBO's Silicon Valley take place in Mike Judge's version of TechCrunch Disrupt. Without giving away from spoilers, it's pretty much like the real conference only with more dick jokes. Well, one very elaborate Aristocrats-style dick joke on a whiteboard.
Michael Arrington is a man who would prefer to keep the things people whisper about him out of the public eye. So the blogging-capitalist, whose "conflicts of interests" run longer than his resume (literally), came out gunning for Whisper CEO Michael Heyward during a TechCrunch Disrupt panel earlier today.
In 2011, TechCrunch founder Mike Arrington was fired from his own website for reasons including flagrant conflicts of interest over his newly hatched VC firm, CrunchFund. But he never really left. For every year since his firing, Arrington's used the TechCrunch Disrupt conference to help his wallet.
Conflict of Interest 3.0: the winner of TechCrunch's vaunted Disrupt Battlefield startup competition is financially backed by TechCrunch's pugnacious founder, Michael Arrington—it is a matter of pure coincidence that Arrington judged the competition. How much longer are we going to take this seriously?
Earlier today, Michael Arrington solemnly vowed to "face down the evil at TechCrunch Disrupt," the tech blog's biannual conference. Not the vulgar sexism permitted on stage, but rather the tech industry's see-no-evil attitude towards the NSA using its products to spy on American citizens. (Complacency seems to be common theme.)
After issuing an ultimatum to abuse-alleging ex Jenn Allen, TechCrunch founder and investor Michael Arrington is now trying to take her to federal court. In demand for trial filed just yesterday, Arrington's lawyers allege Allen tried to "smear [his] name on the internet" and "destroy his reputation."
After MG Siegler's announcement yesterday that the CrunchFund general partner was moving onto greener, more re$$$ourceful pastures at Google Ventures, questions about the future of the conflicted fund grew louder. But according to Dan Primack's crystal ball, detractors should put down their knives for now, thanks to the potential of good returns.