We’ve known for a while that PandoDaily was going to launch. It’s essentially TechCrunch rebuilt. Sarah Lacy is at the controls instead of Mike Arrington, but it looks to be the same. John Gruber says that Pando is to TC as The Verge is to Engadget. Pretty much nails it.
The controversial thing is that Pando took a bunch of VC money from the people they’re going to be covering. Does that make them a “mouthpiece” as Gawker charged or is it just how people do business? In sports - a place where VC money is virtually nonexistent, aside from the large scale tech-plays of Bleacher Report and the suddenly-not-so-interested-in-sports
SBN Vox Media - there’s a lot of it that’s less seen.
People have friends in this business. We all do favors for each other, even competitors. I can’t tell you the number of times a writer has come to me, asking for help on figuring out a story on an injured player for the team they cover. It benefits me and them. I can also not count the number of times that a team’s asked me for something, often on a competitor. Just like Peter Gammons in Moneyball (where it was vastly oversimplified), there’s a value to being the middleman in an information economy. Even though the people I talk to know that I’m talking to their competitors, they trust my judgement.
It works and that’s why I think the Pando “controversy” is mostly jealousy. It’s a bit awkward on the surface, but if they end up being just a mouthpiece, people will stop reading them. Techcrunch is still there, after all, and there’s a plethora of tech sites.
(By the way, this World of Apple column is amazing. I’m still digesting it.)
I’m a gadget geek and a sports guy, so the overlap that continues to happen between the two intrigues me to no end. The announcement that CBSSports wants to become the Facebook of fantasy sports could go a lot of ways. The continued erosion of the core of ESPN’s main revenue (cable fees) offers some opportunities. Yahoo Sports continues to do outstanding work, especially in enterprise pieces, as Yahoo the company falls apart.
I’m sure the next five years will be even more disruptive than the last five years, which coincide cleanly with the launch of the iPhone. Flat out, that’s the event that’s done more to change society than any other. Oddly, sports hasn’t been on the leading edge of it so there’s plenty of room to move here.