Recently I got some heat when I said that I don’t want to see us descend into a nation of bloggers. I was called clueless because hey, blogs are the future, right? These bloggers are the bright shiny new media barons who are going to take over the world and kill the New York Times, and they’re going to show those stodgy old media dinosaurs how it’s done, and dance on the graves of the old guys, blah blah blah.
Flash forward to today, when Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, arguably the most successful tech blog, hints at a conference that he wants to sell his company. (For added pleasure the photo above shows digi-tool Robert Scoble recording Arrington’s every precious word for posterity.)
The truth is, Arrington been trying to sell TechCrunch for years — at least since 2007 when he hired Heather Harde, an M&A guru from Fox Interactive, and named her CEO of TechCrunch. Back in those days Mike was full of talk about that big “liquidity event” that was right around the corner. Supposedly all the big brands were coming to him and begging him to sell. Now it’s three years later and he still can’t unload the thing.
Why is that? Why would every media company in the world look at this thing and pass on it?
Could it be — gulp — that TechCrunch really isn’t so great at making money?
Surely not. Why, it must make mountains and mountains of cash.
Why else would Michael Arrington want to sell it so badly?
Ah, but if you really want to get a glimpse into what deluded buffoons these bloggers are, you have to read Henry Blodget’s idiotic “offer” to buy TechCrunch. Henry says he’s all in, wants to buy TechCrunch, because “SAI + TechCrunch = World Domination.”
Just one problem. Henry doesn’t have any money. And, as he puts it, “equally sadly, we doubt Mike has the mountain of cash that we would demand to allow Mike to do a clever reverse merger.”
In other words: My world dominating business has no money, and neither does yours, because that’s how world dominating we are — we’re both so broke that neither of us can buy the other.
But clever old Henry has a solution! Some “Daddy Warbucks” will come along and invest a huge amount of money into SAI so that SAI can buy TechCrunch. Well, of course that will happen! Because what investor wouldn’t want to put a bunch of money into a dead broke blogging company so that it can overpay to get its hands on another dead broke blogging company?
Here’s clueless fuckwit Henry:
Our Daddy Warbucks partner is going to form a new company and stuff it full of cash. Then Daddy Warbucks is going to write Mike a colossal check for TechCrunch. Then he/she is going to write us a colossal check for SAI. Then he/she is going to merge both TechCrunch and SAI into the new company called World Domination, Inc., give us a bunch of equity, and then sit back and get rich while we do all the work.
Good Lord. Watching these guys play at being businessmen is like watching developmentally disabled midgets going at it in a wrestling ring. The mind reels.
The only thing that will make this more entertaining is when fellow digital media baron Jason Calacanis jumps in with some brilliant business advice of his own. Or better yet — maybe Calacanis can make a no-money offer of his own to rival Henry Blodget’s no-money offer, and then we’ll have a bidding war!
Honestly, people, how did Henry Blodget ever make a living as an analyst on Wall Street? But somehow he did. And now he’s convinced some poor sap to invest in his blog, which, several years in, still can’t find a way to make money.
Solution: Buy someone else, and dig a bigger hole!
Of course, Blodget did end up getting thrown out of Wall Street and banned for life. So maybe markets really are rational after all.