A year ago when we had the first TechCrunch party at August capital a blog called Dead 2.0 wrote a post criticizing me for acting aloof at the event. The blog has been taken down now, but the post basically called me a jerk and said that I was holding court, or something similar.
I can get pretty tired at these events, any host of a party will know what I mean. I’m usually exhausted by the time I get there from planning (although this year Heather took care of everything, so I arrived feeling great). And then making sure everything runs smoothly, saying hello to friends, meeting countless new people, etc., takes a toll. One way I’ve dealt with it is by not drinking alcohol at my own events. But even so, its a strain.
I’m not complaining at all about that – I love these events and can handle the stress. But I took the dead 2.0 post to heart and have made a concentrated effort to smile and be friendly with every single person at the event. Sometimes I fail – often because people walk up to me, say something crazy and stick a microphone in my face and I suspect a setup of some kind. But for the most part, I am genuinely very happy to meet everyone and spend a few minutes chatting with them about whatever they are working on.
One problem I have is very bad hearing. When there is background noise/music/conversation I often cannot understand what a person is saying right in front of me. Sometimes I try to follow the conversation from fragments that I pick up. Other times, I ask for them to repeat what they said. It’s frustrating.
After the party last month, an almost identical comment to the dead 2.0 post was left at the Uncov blog (by the way, I love that blog). See the “Mike” comment to this post, where he says:
Was at TC party and saw this guy come up & stand there politely for a few moments, waiting his turn (Arrington was holiding informal court towards end of the evening) and of course Arrington didn’t acknowledge him, so the guy sort of sticks his hand out and says something like “Hey Michael just wanted to say hello and thanks for the party” with an accent and Arrington stops dead cold, sneers at him and says “huh?” and then just sort of keeps talking. — Dude was white too (some euro trash), not indian or asian so maybe the accent shocked him. —- He’s such a fucking asshole. Like Winer, do these guys with their ego power trips have any clue just how unbelievably clueless they are with regards to basic social and business skills? Was that a redudant question? God I hate that guy.
I don’t remember this happening, but I don’t dispute that Jon saw this. And he’s clearly pretty angry about it. Whatever happened, I gave at least one person the impression that I was too good to talk to someone, which I was actively trying not to do.
I’ve emailed Mike and asked him if he knows the email address of the person involved – I’d like to contact him directly and apologize. And please know that if I look annoyed at a party or don’t respond to you, I’m not doing it intentionally.