Archive for September 23rd, 2010

Can we trust Michael Arrington? (AngelGate)

September 23, 2010

Like everyone else I’ve been reading and watching Mike’s latest ‘AngelGate’ story unfold for the last few days. It’s interesting to see lines so clearly and predictably divided on who is to be believed. If you’re an entrepeneur you believe Arrington. If you’re an Angel/VC you believe the attendees responses like that of Dave McClure and Chris Yeh and laugh the whole thing off. I see the whole thing as black and white. Either the Angels are lying or Mike is. Since we hardly know who was even in the room, it’s a lot easier to judge Mike’s track record for reporting and writing stories with unnamed sources then it is unnamed ‘Super Angels’.

I did a quick scan of Arrington’s posts for the last four months and here are the ‘unconfirmed’ rumors he wrote about, as well as the outcome of his sources and reporting.

Sept-April 2010

1. CrunchPad litigation update. Based on the original blog post and Mike commentary, Mike appears to have told the truth in Nov 2009 blog post. +1.

2. Google to acquire Jambol. This was later announced by Google. +1.

3. founder Joshua Schachter raises money for a new startup. Unconfirmed.

4. Disney about to acquire Playdom. This was confirmed 5-days later. +1

5. Google Secretly Invested $100+ Million In Zynga. This was confirmed 20 days later. +1

6. Mike Jones to become new MySpace President. This was confirmed. +1

7. Sugar Inc Didn’t Raise $30 Million From Sequoia. Unconfirmed.

8. Andreessen Horowitz To Win The Foursquare Investor Badge. Ben Horowitz wrote a nice blog post announcing the partnership 15 days later. +1

9. MySpace Spinmaster Dani Dudeck Resigns, Moves To Zynga. Confirmed here. +1

10. “Something tells me the wheels may be coming off the car at Cuil” (no source, just a good prediction). 5 months later, Cuil goes down for good. +1

11. Zynga’s Newest Game: FrontierVille. You can probably guess what happened two months later. +1

12. “The iPad will not fix your newspaper” (another prediction). Unconfirmed.

13. MySpace Planning To Roll Out Facebook Connect ASAP (Or Not). Official announcement rolled out 5-months later. +1

14. Source: Elevation Partners Got About 1% Of Facebook For $90 Million. Two months later 1.5% purchase announcement made. +1

15. Cisco May Be Making A Run For Skype. Unconfirmed. (Updated)

I haven’t taken a math class since high school; but those odds have me betting on Michael Arrington every time.

As an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, it’s sad to hear. I hope it’s not true. The people mentioned to have been in the room are some of my most highly respected people in tech (granted I don’t personally know any of them).  Like a dog that’s been beaten, I have cautiously hoped that Super Angels were the solution to a lot of the Founder/VC problems of the past. I still hope it’s true, although I’m much more skeptical after this week.


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