I sometimes joke that tech blogging would be the best job in the world if it wasn’t for the writing. When you work for a publication like TechCrunch you have unparalleled access to meet and talk to just about anybody in the industry. But once the conversation ends, the real work of filing copy begins.
That’s why a few years ago I started experimenting with audio interviews in a series I’ve dubbed ’Talk is cheap
’. Readers get to hear an almost un-edited and hopefully candid conversation with a VC or entrepreneur (along with an insight into how I work) and I get to take a break from writing. The format isn’t to everyone’s taste but, hey, variety is the spice of life, right?
In my first audio interview of the year I caught up with George Spencer
the CEO and founder of London property technology startup Rentify. The recording is 30 minutes long, but, if proptech isn’t your thing, skip to around the 13 minute mark because that’s where things get a little more lively.
George doesn’t like the tech press very much. In fact, he basically thinks we suck, especially when writing about startup failure. In his view, journalists are too poorly positioned to ever have the required access to cover a company’s demise in an informed way.
I kicked back, of course, arguing that when a company fails it is the legitimate role of the tech press to ask why and to attempt a postmortem, not least when VC money is involved. Even based on limited information it is better to ask the hard questions and provide some possible answers than to never ask any questions at all.
That led us to use the recent example
of YPlan. What assumptions did the founders and investors make that turned out to not be true? Or if the assumptions still carry weight, was it simply a failure in execution?
To see what this kind of story can
look like, check out my coverage of Valk Fleet’s demise
from early last year.
Bonus: Which national newspaper sent a reporter to my house for two hours on Thursday to “check out the competition?”