It’s with a mixture of sadness and excitement that today is my final day at TechCrunch Europe where for the last 20 months I’ve had the privilege of being Contributing Editor working under the guidance of my friend and editor Mike Butcher.
In that time I’ve written over 700 posts covering hundreds of European startups, breaking industry news and on at least a few occasions scooping my peers in the technology media for whom I have nothing but respect. And it’s fair to say that TechCrunch has probably been the toughest but also the most enjoyable writing gig that I’ve ever had.
So why then am I leaving?
If I had to sum it up in a few words then I’d be tempted to call it the TechCrunch Way. When Mike Arrington founded TechCrunch back in 2005, he described the site’s mission as obsessively profiling startups — a mission that has largely survived to this day and a responsibility we take pretty seriously at TechCrunch Europe (spanning Berlin to Moscow to Helsinki to London and beyond). This inevitably means not just tracking the awesome products that startups create but also talking to and meeting the awe-inspiring entrepreneurs behind those products and on which dreams are made. There’s something very special and privileged about being the first to cover a new startup and hearing a few days or weeks later that it helped in some way, perhaps leading to mainstream coverage, interest from an investor, a product iteration or something more profound.
During my time at TechCrunch, I always tried to remember that the story is ultimately about people and that the words we write often impact lives. This is never more true than when covering early-stage startups who give you the best access and through which you can get closest to the people behind those startups. You can’t help but be inspired by these entreprenuers or at least I couldn’t.
And that’s where the problem started. In between writing those hundreds of posts for TechCrunch, I began to dream of actually doing a startup. It was no longer enough just to cover other people’s stories. Instead, I wanted to have a go at creating my own.
As fate would have it, I’ve been given that very opportunity by being asked to become co-founder and CEO of Beepl, which I’ve now accepted. Opportunities like this don’t come around too often – for one, I get to work with another super smart team, including my good friend uxPete – and from what I know about startups, it will likely be my most challenging career pivot yet!
On that note, I want to say a big thank you to all of the amazing people that I’ve worked with while at TechCrunch, especially my editor Mike and colleague Robin Wauters, along with the rest of the TC team. And not least the PR folk who have been such good sports (you know who you are), all of my generous competitors and of course our loyal readers.