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My "Techcrunch-killer" is starting to hit three or four posts a day and getting 3-10k visitors a day. A respectable start in my experience (that's where engadget, joystiq and cinematical all were after two weeks).

I've got three full-time writers here in Los Angeles and I'd like to double by the end of the year. Hiring only fresh out of school folks i can mentor to success.

My original thinking was I would need a big, brand-name writer like +erick schonfeld +MG Siegler +Peter Kafka +Rafat Ali +Marshall Kirkpatrick +Staci D Kramer +Alexia Tsotsis or +Robin Wauters to anchor the brand.

However, we're getting a ton of exclusives without a big, brand name writer.

Maybe I don't need a big brand name editor to make LAUNCH competitive with @techcrunch? Maybe i just need to pump out solid editorial every day for a year with six hard-working "kids?"

What do you think of the mix so far at http://www.launch.is ?

We've been really focsued on a mix of solid profiles of startups that haven't been covered on TechCrunch, as well as interesting industry tidbits that point to a larger trend.

We've stayed away from TechCrunch's biggest stregth: deals/funding. We simply can't beat Michael Arrington at getting funding announcements since he's threatened folks with banishment if they don't give him that information (according to multiple reports). I'm not willing to threaten fellow founders like Mike to build my brand. zing! :-)
LAUNCH Media covers and celebrates new startups, products, services and technology on the LAUNCH blog, an email newsletter and an in-person conference. Serial entrepreneur, angel investor and journali...
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55 comments
 
please tell me your favorite story of the past week... and why!
 
Maybe don't outsource your community to FB since you rightly pointed out all their faults earlier this year :)
 
Have it on an RSS feeding one of my Twitter accounts unique, killer content not the same refurb of Mash/Tech
 
Considering the new TechCrunch redesign makes it look horribly ugly and only one step above a tabloid, consider me your new biggest fan. My only concern is that we are starting to see tech news slow down (and the beginning of a down-cycle for other reasons) so you won't be able to ride the startup hype wave like TechCrunch did. Still, if you tough it out and focus on QUALITY, unbiased content, I can definitely see you taking advantage of the next one. Keep it up
 
I enjoyed "Elite Military Personal Banned from Social Media"....that is how I found Launch. Great start, Jason.
Rob Go
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your logo totally destroys their new one.
 
looks good so far - my only feedback: there's no "send us a news tip" link on the site for people to contact you if they don't have a prior relationship... or is this by design? :)
 
Oh, I think you need a "big brad name editor" for sure. Of course this comment will seem silly after you edit your post.
 
Nice, best of luck! Would be interesting to see more instructive posts that would benefit people actually starting their own thing and not go the "techcrunch" way of "this guy raised this much and this company is suing this other company" :)
 
Think it's great your hiring 'kids' to run the side. There is so much talent out there, why not use it!
 
Why no bylines for these kids though? :)
Rob Go
 
no, really... DESTROYS!!
 
+Sean Percival trying to do an economist-style format where everyone works on pieces together and owns them together. group bylines is the model. unless it's an opinion piece.
 
+Jason Calacanis A question on positioning: Why call it a "TechCrunch killer?" Isn't that kind of limiting? Why not have it stand on its own as something new?
 
Go Jason. Good luck with your TC killer. I personally quit reading Mike's slog altogether and moved to Om.
 
Hey Congratz ,Came to this post from Twitter Link.Like the layout of the website
 
Well done sir. Feels like anyone with a great concept or story actually has a shot at fair coverage! Great to see it grow from the idea stage on.
 
I think that right now you get most of your traffic from the links you post, as I just checked the front page and I remember hearing about every headline I saw there from your various tweets throughout the week--tweets I never clicked on, but tweets which delivered headlines nonetheless. So I don't agree that having zero well-known "anchor" writers is the way to go. I guarantee you if you stop tweeting links to Launch, your traffic will drop by 50%.

Case in point: When +Tom Merritt left Buzz Out Loud (BOL) to do his own show on TWiT, I stopped listening to BOL and switched over to his show, Tech News Today (TNT). It's Tom that I liked more than anyone else on BOL, I was interested in what he was going to do now that he had more leeway than CBS would allow him, and he's the reason I listen to TNT. He's also one of the reasons I listen to Triangulation on TWiT as well. I just like the guy.

Yet, while there's something to be said for having anchor talent on your team, there's also something to be said for hiring newbies and grooming them to a certain way of doing things. You've proven this with Weblogs, Inc.
 
Kibin story is my favorite :) The more you focus on early stage startups the better--only cover the ecosystem if it effects them. I really get tired of seeing tons of Google stories that have no impact on the startup world (like EU case, etc).
 
Just added to my RSS feed, thanks for pointing this out.
 
+Michael Paul that was my thinking. If I can get +MG Siegler +erick schonfeld +Marshall Kirkpatrick +Staci D Kramer or someone amazing like that to take on the +Peter Rojas / +Ryan Block role at LAUNCH then I will bring another 25k readers to the brand (which should double the traffic).

All I need is for one of those folks to a) want to build their own brand, b) want to get serious equity in a growing brand and c) want to be free of the 'big company way' and LAUNCH is a made brand.

For now I'm building this massive foundation for one of those folks... like setting up this great basketball team and waiting for Kobe or Michael Jordan to want to come to a fresh new winning team.

The good news is I'm doing this for the purity of winning the game. I really don't care about making money from the brand... all i care about is being the #1 most trusted source for news about technology and startups. That is a five year mission, but after 30 days (and six months since the first sold-out conference) I'd say we are well on our way.

Which top writer do you think i should make an offer to?
 
Well, I don't really follow tech writers, but I do know that every time I visit TechCrunch and look at the byline, +MG Siegler is all over it like a fly on shit. I'd go with him.
 
Think Arrington must keep that Siegler on a Benzedrine pump -- guy doesn't seem to sleep.

But I think LAUNCH would be more interesting with a little less fandroid trolling than TC.
 
Gratz Jason. If you ever need someone contributing for Europe, let me know! Also looking forward to your investment announcement into Veggie Grill!
 
Congrats, keep up the good work, love to see new players in any marketplace. Focus on building an awesome product, less on trying to prove TechCrunch evil, and you'll do great!
 
I like what you have done with LAUNCH up until this point, but I worry that you are using it to get back at, or get even with TechCrunch. Run with LAUNCH, its a great name, a nicely designed site and so far has had great posts. Don't let a war with the other site stop that from continuing. And about only hiring "fresh out of school folks" -- lets just say this, lots of NOT so fresh out of school folks can surrender to a great mentor.
 
i would add that i think most businesses/startups kill themselves. i.e. i don't view launch as a techcrunch killer. i think they're doing that to themselves.
 
agree... TechCrunch's constant attacking of founders without justification is just immature and unnecessary.
 
+Robert Nelson agree... however, when someone steals from you it is a major motivating factor. Mike stole the TechCrunch50 conference out from under me and literally laughed in my face when he did and said "so sue me if you don't like it."

I use that image of him laughing at me over dinner at Sundance in Palo Alto two years ago as part -- but not all -- of my motivation. I've never had anyone screw me over like Mike did and I'm going to building LAUNCH into the leading brand over the next year or two and get back what he stole from me.
 
+Michael Paul agree regarding +MG Siegler. I've been pinging him every month and I'm waiting for him to realize that owning a big chunk of equity in a growing brand that he an lead to greatness, is better than keeping up a brand like TC for a big company like AOL that will never let him into the inner circle of management. If MG (and/or Erick and/or Marshall) were to come to LAUNCH he/they would be making the decisions on where the brand went. they will never have that chance... they will get to spend 15 minutes a year with Tim Armstrong.
 
Thanks for the kind words Jason. Good luck with the site, it sure keeps coming up in my news research a lot.
 
Just had another look at it. Sure is easier on the eyes than TC.
 
Jason - Knowing now that you want an informed and collective body pushing tech/startup content via text & maybe video, I am 10x more intrigued in your efforts.
I'll continue to show up on all social ntwks, commenting on ur posts, and making myself known to you.
Twitter & youtube: design006
My blog @ https://www.grantalan.wordpress.com
 
Kudos..
Allow Launch to create its own "Big, Brand writers"
 
Are you trying to set yourself apart from the competition as the drama tabloid of tech blogs? I'm sure there's an audience for that, but I don't think it's what I'd like to read.
 
I just read the first four articles and I like it.
 
+Jason Calacanis big names? obviously, the only voice you need to take mike/tc down a peg is +Loren Feldman... at the very least, launch should repost his recent aol rant... classic.
 
Better stories, better news, better writing.
J Young
 
Looking good but you could use a redesign mate.
 
+Jason Calacanis I would recommend taking advantage of your video capabilities and augment some of the editorial with video. Not quite a TWIST type deal but more in the line with what Mahalo is doing. Even starting to do livestream's for all these tech conferences and such. Hope this helps :)

p.s - How about some sort of Incubator type show off conf or series or something.. that would be dope
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