As 2018 comes to a close, I decided once again to look back through my entire TechCrunch archives for the year. An educated guess would be that I totalled somewhere between 250 and 300 posts - I tend to file around 25 on a good month - and this year saw my trademark mixture of announcements/exclusives, original reporting/analysis, and the occasional longer form piece or in-depth interview (see ITK: #48
). In between, I also hosted or appeared at a number of events (more on that below).
Overall, I’m chalking up 2018 as a good year from a career perspective, even if it felt quite like business as usual. That said, I was shortlisted for a journalism award, against hacks at The Times, Financial Times, and The Sunday Times.
I don’t really do awards but I was quietly pleased to have been nominated and shortlisted for this one, based entirely on the competition. Working at a major newspaper was always an ambition of mine as a kid (I did a work placement at The Guardian in my late teens and freelanced for the same newspaper sporadically at the start of my journalism career) and so it was nice to be recognised in the same group as mainstream media. It also showed just how far new media publications like TechCrunch have come and I was a little disappointed not to have brought it home for the team!
It was still fun on the awards night though as the London Stock Exchange kindly made me a guest on their table. (Well, I mean, I wasn’t ever going to buy my own £300 ticket, was I?) And in case you’re wondering, no I didn’t wear a dinner jacket and bow tie. Sticking it to the man!
The year 2018 also saw a break in the well-documented rivalry between myself and James Cook, who resigned as tech editor at Business Insider UK in April. After a much-deserved break, he joined The Telegraph, although we don’t tend to compete for the same stories nearly as much these days (aside from both obsessing over the recent e-scooter boom
As the two of us discussed in my exclusive interview
with Cook published in this very newsletter (see ITK: #42
), I tend to perform much better when I have a direct competitor… journalists are weird like that.
Don’t fret, however, it was never going to be long before I set my sights on a journalist at another esteemed publication after they beat me to a story right in my sweet spot. They may or may not have noticed just yet 🙃
Meanwhile, if I had to pick one career highlight of 2018, it was almost certainly when Starling founder and CEO Anne Boden emailed the organisers of Startup Grind’s European conference to suggest that she turn the tables and interview me.
The conversation covered the role of tech journalism, how I use technology to get around certain aspects of my disability and to stay employed, the secret to establishing sources and breaking stories, my recent political activism and criticism of City A.M. editor Christian May
(see ITK: #39
), and what I think of Big Tech.