Home > Uncategorized > Protection money: what the New York mob and tech blogs have in common…

Protection money: what the New York mob and tech blogs have in common…

Yes, the geeks at your favorite tech blog may be running a protection money business.

TechCrunch: the new mafia

The team behind TechCrunch routinely contacts startups and asks them to invest in their shady “CrunchFund”, which is basically a protection money business. You have to give them your money or they will make sure your startup is ruined by lots of negative publicity [Well, you don’t give them money per se, you give them a piece of your company].

Does that sound like a conspiracy theory. Or is it the hard true about the current state of tech blogs?

Some hard evidence for you nay sayers

Well, consider the following story: a startup company called AirBnB is approached by the TechCrunch, but refuses to pay the protection money. This results in the following articles in their blogs:

  • Airbnb Offers Unconditional Apology, And $50,000 Insurance Guarantee 8/1/11 by Arrington
  • Another Airbnb Victim Tells His Story: “There Were Meth Pipes Everywhere” – 7/31/11 by Arrington
  • How The Hell Is This My Fault? – 7/30/11 by Arrington
  • Airbnb Victim Speaks Again: Homeless, Scared And Angry 7/29/11 by Arrington
  • The Moment Of Truth For Airbnb As User’s Home Is Utterly Trashed – 7/27/11 by Arrington

Eventually, the startup gives up and hands over some cash [read: company shares] to TechCrunch. All the sudden, the negative posts are replaced with these:

  • Airbnb: 5 Million Nights Booked, Opening 6 New International Offices In Q1 2012
    1/26/12 by Robin Wauters

  • DLD 2012 – Brian Chesky: “Average Airbnb Host In NYC Pockets $21,000 A Year”
    1/23/12 by Robin Wauters

  • With Focus On International Expansion, Airbnb Comes To Android And Revamps Mobile Web Offerings – 1/17/12 by Alexia Tsotsis
  • A List Of Startups Goldman Sachs Thinks Will Most Likely IPO
    12/3/11 by Alexia Tsotsis

  • Airbnb To Partner With Vayable To Upsell Travel Experiences To Renters
    12/2/11 by Greg Kumparak

  • Why The Collaborative Consumption Revolution Might Be As Significant As The Industrial Revolution (TCTV) – 11/14/11 by Andrew Keen
  • Airbnb’s Brian Chesky On Expansion Efforts: We Use Our Community To Figure Out What’s Next
    11/10/11 by Alexia Tsotsis

  • Airbnb Is Thinking About Partnering With Car-Sharing Services – 10/31/11 by Leena Rao
  • Airbnb Checks In With Springstar For International Expansion – 10/17/11 by Robin Wauters
  • Airbnb Launches Sublets, Tempts Early Adopters With $200 Off Each Month’s Rent – 9/1/11 by Jason Kincaid
  • Airbnb Rolls Out 24/7 Phone Support, Additional Safety Features – 8/8/11 by Jason Kincaid


The above list was put together by James Matts and posted in the comment section of this article.

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