I have to admit, I read TechCrunch almost daily. If you've never heard of it, its a blog about new Internet startups in the tech industry. The founder, Michael Arrington, has recently decided its time to take a break after being spit on at a conference called DLD he attended in Germany.
Arrington is like the Simon Cowell of the tech blogging space. His blog has become so popular that companies bombard his writers trying to get a story written about their company. This demand for the spotlight has produced some people resorting to desperate measures, but the latest has Arrington wondering how he is going to stop the madness.
I go to a coffee meeting most Tuesday mornings in Seattle that a guy named Andy Sack started a couple years ago. Great place, great people and unbelievably good blueberry scones. The type of conversations I have with people can range from talking about new startup ideas to getting funding. Yesterday was one I really enjoyed because it was a different type of flow. We talked about how the government is giving money to banks, but the banks aren't loaning money.
Without the banks giving any loans to small businesses, and the VC market all dried up, where do people go to get their businesses going in tough times? They bootstrap. How can you bootstrap an Internet company when most services are ad supported and given away for free? People don't want to pay for anything online anymore.
People are fighting for traffic, they are arbitraging Google with duplicate content, they are spitting in Arrington's face, they are scrambling. Is there anything that can be done to help support businesses who are trying to change the world, as Guy Kawasaki would say?
With all the layoffs from the Big Three alone, imagine all the ideas that these people have that could be turned into small businesses, but do they have a chance? Actually I guess the question is, who does have a chance at starting a small business today? I suppose I am to go over to TechCrunch to see what they are approving.