MG-Siegler

Thirty

When I turned 30 last week, I thought I would sit down and write some profound post on the matter — or at least try to. But it didn’t happen. The truth is that I just don’t have much to say. Everyone asks me how it feels to enter a new decade, but I really don’t feel any different at all. I remember turning 20. I feel the exact same. 

That’s good, I suppose. Hopefully turning 40 will feel the same as well. Obviously, I’m different than I was 10 years ago, but living with myself on a daily basis, it’s hard to perceive that. I just know how I feel. The same.

But the truth is that the milestone did matter to me somewhat. For example, I wanted to figure out my next career move before I hit 30. I did, just in time. It just seemed like a good transition point, even though it doesn’t actually mean much. 30 trips around the Sun. 

And while I don’t feel any different, I also must admit that some little things are a bit odd. For example, watching sports and noticing that the majority of the star players are younger than you. That’s an awkward feeling — not necessarily because they’re more successful at a younger age, but because you know that you’ll never be able to be successful in such a way. It’s off the table (even if it was never really on the table to begin with). I watch them and I still have a hard time believing they’re younger than me.

In the tech world, it’s similar in a way. You see so many entrepreneurs in their early 20s or even younger. And you read story after story about how most will do great things before they’re 30. Your heart sinks a bit. Maybe you’ve done great things, but just the notion that you might not be able to do anything great from here on out is truly terrifying. 

Luckily, unlike in sports, we have plenty of counter examples. In fact, many people in the tech space seem to get better with age because knowledge is such a key asset. Unlike physical ability, it tends to get better over time. 

Sure, Steve Jobs was 21 when the Apple I was unveiled. And yes, he was 28 when the Mac was unveiled. But he was 46 when the iPod was unveiled. He was 51 when the iPhone was unveiled. And he was 54 when the iPad was unveiled.

I’m going to keep my goals for my thirties simple — correcting some wrongs of my twenties:

  • Be healthier
  • Spend money on experiences, not stuff
  • Stay focused and organized each day

I state these more to pressure myself into sticking with them. And the beginning of a new decade does seem like a nice, clean starting point — even if I don’t actually feel any different. 

parislemon.com
MG Siegler on "open" and "closed" Mobile Devices | parislemon.com

While I’d argue that Apple isn’t as “closed” as some may have you believe, nor is Android nearly as “open” — generally, yes.

At some point, I’m going to have to do a post about this. He’s pretty much correct, but I think this defies people’s perception of both companies.

Further, while “control” often has a negative connotation, it’s important for quality. When you “open” your device and/or software, shit always finds a way in.

Which is why Android has malware, but Apple and Microsoft don’t.

CrunchFund and Why We Care

Previously published on Venturebent.com

Over the summer, I wrote a post on Ventureminded.me entitled “The TechCrunch Machine” in which I railed against Arrington, his conflicts of interest, and how the site had lost its way, particularly how it shifted from highlighting up-and-coming startups to focusing on larger tech companies. Arrington has long been criticized for being a Silicon Valley insider writing about startups while simultaneously being an active investor. More recently, MG Siegler’s pseudo-departure from TechCrunch to join Arrington at CrunchFund raised some eyebrows as well. But why?

Chris Dixon tweeted that Michael Moritz was a former journalist and became a successful VC, so perhaps Siegler would follow a similar route. However, there’s a major difference between the guys at CrunchFund and Moritz. The latter stepped away from his journalism career at TIME to pursue a career in venture capital at Sequoia. Arrington, and to a certain extent Siegler, is still very much entrenched in unearthing stories, breaking news, and relying on sources. All of these things are not only critical to being successful at writing about startups, but are also vital to sourcing deals. So why can’t they do both and just disclose when they’re writing about an investment (as Arrington has done and continues to do)? Simply, when someone is talking to Arrington or Siegler, is he/she speaking to the writer or the investor – who knows?

In my opinion, it all comes down to a simple distinction between bloggers and journalists. The guys at CrunchFund want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to be called “journalists” to have that official seal of approval from the media community, but they want to be renegade bloggers in order to continue investing without a conflict of interest cropping up all the time. It just can’t happen. A journalist must be completely impartial. For example, no CNBC employee is allowed to hold stock of any kind – even sports business reporter Darren Rovell (who is also the source of this statement). Why should a tech writer be allowed to invest in companies (whether he writes about his investments or not)? A “blogger,” on the other hand, is unofficial; it’s a person who dabbles in writing online but has some other main profession. No one has a problem with Fred Wilson blogging on a daily basis because no one would ever confuse his style or content with actual journalism, and he’s not breaking news by relying on inside sources. Arrington and Siegler, however, are journalists all the time – whether they want to be or not.

For the sake of transparency, impartiality, and a host of other reasons, Arrington needs to shut down Uncrunched or CrunchFund. Something tells me he’d be more likely to part with the former.

Seven

When I read Om’s post today celebrating 10 years blogging, it made me think back to when I began. Oddly enough, in three days, it will be exactly 7 years since I started blogging as well. 

I actually remember the timing and the thought process. I had recently graduated from college and had just left everything and everyone I knew back east and drove 2,000+ miles by myself out to California. I had been living in Los Angeles for about three months and thought the new chapter in my life was a good time to start doing something new.

In other words, I was bored.

I recall debating setting up the blog for a couple of weeks. On one hand I was worried it would look lame to friends back home — “blog” seemed to be something of a derogatory term at the time (at least in the circles I hung out in). More importantly, I was sure I would have nothing to talk about. Certainly nothing that mattered. For several months, that was very much the case.

Keep reading

techcrunch.com
MG Siegler details Amazon's Kindle tablet

It’s called simply the “Amazon Kindle”. But it’s not like any Kindle you’ve seen before. It displays content in full color. It has a 7-inch capacitive touch screen. And it runs Android.

But it’s not an Android tablet. It runs a forked version of Android (pre-2.2) custom-designed for and by Amazon to be tightly integrated with its own branded book, music, video, and app stores and services.

So how much will the 7-inch Kindle cost? $250.

A great price point targeted for a November release with a 10" version slated for early 2012.

To be clear, Amazon’s tablet is not in the same ballpark as Apple’s iPad in terms of versatility and performance, but if Amazon can nail content delivery and the user experience, I see this selling very well.

I Wrote A Book — It Only Took 5 Years And Was Edited Down From About Ten Million Words

When most people write books, they sit down with the goal of writing one. I cheated. Instead, I blogged non-stop for five years, writing about hundreds of different topics on various different sites and had someone edit a collection of those together into a book after the fact.

It’s actually rather genius.

Not necessarily the book, mind you — I’ll let you decide that — but the idea behind it. A startup called Hyperink is behind it and they approached me with the opportunity to repurpose and reinvigorate some of that past content I had made. They’ve previously done this with Foundry Group’s Brad Feld and had great success (he just released version 2 of his blog-to-book).

One of the greatest strengths of blogging is also a weakness: content is very easy to get out there, but because of that, it’s also extremely ephemeral. Every blogger has dozens, if not hundreds, if not thousands of posts that they poured time into, but after a short shelf life, those posts are lost in the ether of the web — most never to be found again. Some of those are great posts. It doesn’t matter. On the Internet, fresh content is paramount.

Hyperink is trying to change this with Blog to Book series. Specifically, they’re looking over past posts to find the best ones (based on a number of factors — some subjective, some not) and putting them together in an eBook format. More will be coming from other bloggers in the future.

To be clear, all of this is previous published content that is available for free on the web. But the book is edited together together in a way that I actually think is pretty fun and seamless. I’ve also included some updated commentary on some of the topics. It’s 177 pages of pure joy and jackassery.

Perhaps most importantly, the price is fair. If you buy it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, you’ll pay just $4.95. And for a limited time, you can buy it right through Hyperink for just $2.99. With that purchase, you can get the eBook for the Kindle, Nook, iPad, or just a PDF.

The title? You’re Damn Right I’m a Fanboy: MG Siegler on Apple, Google, Startup Culture, and Jackasses on the Internet. Catchy, no?

Enjoy. And thanks for reading.

Response to #middlefingergate

You lose this one @tumblr and I’m going to be really pissed at you…

Timeline:

a) Paris Lemon aka MG Siegler posts the following tumblr blog post.

I follow MG Siegler because I like TechCrunch, been following him for awhile.

b) Alexia posts this over at G+ (oh surprise, it’s gone!) but you can see it on this article she wrote today. 

Needless to say, many people commented. Some not nicely. Blocked them. I wish the post was still there as I happened to see it when she posted it and replied, let’s all change our profile pics! So I did. Today, my profile picture is gone too!

3) Here’s a quote from MG from this blog posting of his:

In real life, I give my friends the finger sometimes when they’re taking a picture of me. Childish? Sure. But funny for us too. I also call a few of them “fuckers” sometimes. Again, maybe not the most mature thing in the world, but lighthearted. And real.

I changed my profile pic as a show of solidarity as I find the entire thing funny. Some people do not have the same sense of humor as MG, myself and others. Some people are younger than me but so much older than me in their heads. I feel sorry for them.