The TechCrunch effect

Since TechCrunch covered my earFeeder project last month, lots of people have emailed me to ask for tips on getting their products profiled by TechCrunch. I think earFeeder got covered because it was simple, interesting, and unobtrusive and maybe just kinda “neat”. I only got one email from them asking a few questions, and they wrote what they wanted to write.

Guy Kawasaki recently did a great interview with Mike Arrington of TechCrunch called How to get in TechCrunch. Guy asked Mike flat out how a company can get covered on TechCrunch. The short answer: Get referred. The official answer: Email him or use their contact form. Hint: The short answer works much better.

So what did this coverage do for earFeeder? Well, quite a bit. I demo’d earFeeder for the first time in public on October 3rd at the Boulder New Tech Meetup. TechCrunch wrote about it on October 16th (less than 2 weeks later). LifeHacker followed up with a story 2 days later, exposing earFeeder to half a million people in a two week period. About 100 other blogs then covered it in the following days, and about a million people in total had been sneezed on. A hell of a lot of them came to the site.

Then, just 39 days after I showed it for the first time in Boulder, and just 26 days after TechCrunch covered it, earFeeder was acquired by SonicSwap.

So, is there value to being covered by TechCrunch. Sure. That value is in initial exposure. Take a close look at this traffic graph from the earFeeder co-location site.


With earFeeder, I got lucky and somebody wanted to take it and run with it. But if you’re trying to build a sustainable business, TechCrunch is clearly nothing more than a good jump start on buzz. You have to find some way to convert that and keep it going over time.

file under: Blog, Startups