Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Memo to Chris Shipley: Luca Brasi Sleeps With the Fishes!


“Demo needs to die,” said TechCrunch Editor Michael Arrington yesterday.

Oh, my. Oh, dear. Not more bloody tangoing!?!

The pugnacious tech blogger–who was last seen slapping around other tech bloggers who deigned to also raise money for their ventures, much as he has been doing–made this classy statement in an interview with Daniel Terdiman of CNET’s Geek Gestalt yesterday, about scheduling his TechCrunch 50 conference at the same time as the fall conference of the longtime leader in the start-up conference space, Demo, run by Chris Shipley.

(Shipley’s response is here.)

DemoFall is September 7th to the 9th, while TC 50 is September 8th through 10th.

“It’s just an old-school model,” continued Arrington to Terdiman. “It clearly involves pay to play, and what we’re offering is better.”

Not satisfied to just schedule his event at the same time as Demo–which is fine, I guess, given this is America and we all have the right to be aggressively, and even pointlessly, competitive–the second shot is at the $18,500 fee that Demo demonstrators pay, once they get invited to that conference.

TC 50 does not charge, which, to be fair, would be my choice too.

Still, given his inaugural TC 40 conference sold out and was, said Arrington to Geek Gestalt, profitable, the channeling of the Corleone Family in the online tech space seems a bit much to me.

After all, despite the fact that Arrington recently characterized tech blog sites as competing gangs (“You can do just about anything you want, but the politically savvy folks tend to arm themselves to the teeth and gang together to protect their property. Everyone else is in the middle of chaos, either fighting blindly for attention or politely asking–by linking early and linking often–if they can join the big Gang.”), let’s be honest.

The whole group of us together would lose badly in a fair fight with my son’s kindergarten class.

Of course, they bite. We should know better.

(Full disclosure: Walt Mossberg and I have been running a conference, called D: All Things Digital, for many years. D6 is in late May and is sold out. Nonetheless, full coverage of the event and also full video of the interviews with tech and media players on stage–including Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Jeff Bezos, Jeff Bewkes, Howard Stringer, Mark Zuckerberg and many others–will be on this site. We also do a few demos, so until then, we fervently hope to find no horse heads in our beds.)