J. Michael Arrington (born March 13, 1970) is the American founder and former co-editor of TechCrunch, a blog covering the Silicon Valley technology start-up communities and the wider technology field in USA and elsewhere. Magazines such as Wired and Forbes have named Arrington one of the most powerful people on the Internet. In 2008, he was selected by TIME Magazine as one of the most influential people in the world.
Born in Orange, California, Arrington grew up in Huntington Beach, California and Surrey, England, attended the University of California, Berkeley and graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a major in economics. He went on to Stanford Law School and graduated in 1995. He practiced corporate and securities law at O'Melveny & Myers, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
Arrington left the practice of law to join Real Names, which failed after raising $100M. Arrington was co-founder of Achex, an internet payments company, which was sold to First Data Corp for US$32 million and is now the back end of Western Union online. "I made enough to buy a Porsche. Not much more," he said in 2007.
His other entrepreneurial endeavors include co-founding Zip.ca and Pool.com, acting as chief operating officer for Razorgator, and founding Edgeio. He was also more recently on the board of directors for the startup Foldera, which was designing a software as a service organizational tool.
He identifies as a libertarian, saying, "I just see government as this thing that stops us from doing things."
Arrington rose to internet prominence with his Silicon Valley blog, TechCrunch. TechCrunch covers internet startups and news. In early September 2011, Arrington was reported to be no longer employed by TechCrunch but associated with a new investment company, AOL Ventures. Within days, it was being reported that he was no longer associated with AOL Ventures.
In October 2012, Arrington returned to writing for the Tech Crunch blog.
In 2011, Arrington founded a venture capital firm called CrunchFund along with M.G. Siegler and Patrick Gallaghar. In 2014, CrunchFund invested in BlueFly, an online retailer, which was recently bought, in May 2013, by affiliates of Clearlake Capital Group for USD$13 million. As a result of CrunchFund's investment, former BlueFly CEO Melissa Payner returned to BlueFly.
In July 2008, Arrington started a project called the Crunchpad, over a year before the iPad was released. The Crunchpad was meant to be an affordable tablet computer that catered to a niche between desktop computers and laptops. However, disputes arose between Arrington and the developers he had chosen for the Crunchpad. The developers broke off from Arrington and released the device on their own but it received few sales, and the developers later went bankrupt.
In March 2009, Wired included Arrington in a flowchart of "internet blowhards".
Gillmor Gang and Leo Laporte:
On the Gillmor Gang on June 6, 2009, Arrington accused Leo Laporte of giving the Palm Pre a good review in return for accepting a 5-day evaluation unit, which Laporte interpreted as an attack on his journalistic integrity, subsequently causing Laporte to storm off the air. Later that same day, Arrington and Laporte apologized to each other. After much discussion between Steve Gillmor, Laporte, Arrington, and Robert Scoble, it was decided that the Gillmor Gang would no longer appear on the TWiT network due to the "hostile" nature of the show which Laporte didn't agree with. Laporte confirmed on the pre-show of the June 9, 2009 recording of Net@Nite that future shows of the Gillmor Gang would not air on the TWiT Netcast Network.
Dropping out of college:
Arrington has been known to advocate dropping out of college, stating at the 2010 UC-Berkeley Distinguished Innovator Lecture Series that "the best thing in the world is to go to Harvard for a year and drop out. Everyone knows you were smart enough to get in."