TechCrunch has finally grown a pair and thrown a major web 2.0 property under the bus. In the process he has set up a delicious meta-bash of his own currently foundering project.
In today's post, entitled "Squidoo: Seth Godin's Purple Albatross", Mr. Arrington states the obvious that we mentioned weeks ago– Squidoo's traffic is flat, its concept is flawed, and its future is dim. Perhaps TechCrunch has been feeling the heat of being too positive on Web 2.0 (which as a general concept has petered out in a major way as 2006 marches on), and went for the easiest high-profile target.
But in doing so, he sets himself up for a righteous slap back which Godin probably does not have the balls to deliver except in a roundabout, professional marketer way. The simple fact of the matter is that Edgeio has similar problems– problematic concept, parabolic traffic, sub-par execution etc. The biggest difference between Edgeio and Squidoo is that Squidoo executes its shaky concept in a very mediocre way, while Edgeio executes its far better concept poorly.
While TechCrunch postulates that Godin will lose his hard-earned credibility, this goes double for TechCrunch. How can you critique other people's ideas when your own is gasping for air? How can you claim mental ownership of Web 2.0 ideas when on the execution side, you can clearly be shown to not have a handle on things? As a former (current?) VC, Arrington knows you're only as good as your last deal… perhaps TechCrunch (and its newfound ability to bash as well as praise) is the true business, but co-ownership of Edgeio is an albatross of a different color.