Why Couldn't Arrington Realize CrunchPad?
Michael Arrington has a lot of influence, but obviously not enough influence to push a product to market, or so it seems. Like many serial entrepreneurs, Arrington is watching a great product idea die just shy of the finish line.
Alternately viewed as a renegade journalist for not honoring press embargoes and as a industry visionary, after being named to Time’s 2008 annual list of the world's most influential people, Arrington touted his dream of a $200 touch screen Internet tablet, dubbed the “CrunchPad,” on his highly trafficked website, TechCrunch. Through the power of social media he built a grassroots buzz that he began to commercialize into an open source development project, and which was expected to materialize as a viable product for the market before year-end.
But Arrington’s effort fell short of realization, and it seems in his role as an industry influencer he is not immune to problems that plague other tech innovators. Rumors of cost overruns, challenges with shared intellectual property ownership and decision rights, and technical hurdles seemed to plague his effort. Despite his ready audience of Twitter followers and blog readers, and their enthusiastic support of his vision, he conceded today the device was DOA.
For some who analyzed the failure of the CrunchPad to launch, it was Arrington’s ego and personal style that were ultimately to blame. Arrington has had a history of very public legal battles with companies like YouTube, Rivals, and Marvel and has even been accused of libel resulting from TechCrunch postings. His background in law has served him well in picking street fights and battling a number of cease and desist actions.Continued on the next page