Setting The Record Straight

The new media world has its pros and cons. The pros are that I've got a blog to set the record straight and that everybody is recording everything. The negatives are that bloggers don't feel compelled to write accurate headlines and twitter can amplify the inaccuracies when those headlines get tweeted and retweeted.

Let's take the interview I did with Mike Arrington yesterday to kick off Disrupt NYC (starts at 51.09 in the stream). We had a great chat. Mike asked a bunch of interesting questions and I tried to answer them honestly and openly.

As I was heading back to the office, I saw this tweet in my timeline:



I thought "Hmm, did I really say that?" Fortunately they recorded the entire interview and through a cool feature called snapid, you can go watch the exact one minute sequence where Mike and I discussed this.

As you can see, I never suggested that Google missed the boat on buying Twitter. Google is focused on G+ and Twitter is focused on building its business and staying independent. That's what is going on and that's what I said on stage.


Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    It may be new media, but the same old needs apply. That it was Mike Arrington asking the questions only adds to the irony of your misfortune. Then again, live by the sword die by the sword.Addition:MA: “Is that true?”. A “No” would have killed it. You left the door ajar and they pushed it open.P.S. The chair you were sitting in looked like it could have been made by that other Fred Wilson, although it didn’t look much like a throne to me.

    1. William Mougayar

      Not everyone knows how to interpret Fred’s soft spokeness.

      1. jason wright

        Leaving an answer open to Interpretation is sometimes a dangerous thing.

        1. William Mougayar

          I’m not sure that was the issue. Anyone can twist words & read between the lines of everything.

        2. Brandon Marker

          While watching, I did not feel anything was left to interpretation. I feel Arrington forced interpretation onto many. I chuckled…

  2. Emily Merkle

    Wow. That is some sloppy journalism.

  3. Waqas Ali

    And I was going to share this on an event tomorrow. I am not now.I hope TC shall take it seriously.

  4. markslater

    you even further qualified your remark to specifically state that you were not saying what the headline said…….amazing.

    1. fredwilson


  5. Joe Charakupa

    One of the things that saddens me about the new media age is the inability of its proponents to give me information with as many facts as possible and minimum bias or opinion; so I can easily make up my own mind about what is going on. I really don’t know whether its the quest for eyeballs that has led us down this road. One thing is for sure, reportage is dead. All the media nowadays feels like it is their duty to form our opinions rather than merely to inform us. Sensationalism is now king whatever way you consume information.

  6. Guest

    In a world that is where news is available instantly, wired and on 24/7, and now focused on 140 character “flash blasts” we have all become sensationalism junkies….We have become followers of popularity and hype not honesty and integrity….yellow journalism is vogue just look at our political system, our cable news and mainstream media and now we have Super Pac’s.Our “public” forum reminds one of the Roman Colosseum and we demand our entertainment!

  7. William Mougayar

    I didn’t get a chance to watch that interview live, but had a hunch about that tweet from yesterday. I kept wondering what you actually said vs. what was reported. Had I watched it, I would have probably storified it differently.That article was posted within an hour after the end of your talk, so it was all about speed.Every person hears things differently. Some hear the substance, others want to cling to a headline.

  8. RichardF

    As the Public Enemy song goes “Don’t Believe the Hype”

  9. JimHirshfield

    There’s more page views, and hence money, in poor reporting. Just look at all the extra page views you sent them today. So, there are many incentives to be wrong and sensationalist.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      I mentioned in another comment: As long as there are enough sheep to make it profitable, it’ll exist.

      1. JimHirshfield

        They’re makin’ more sheep every day.

        1. ShanaC

          lemmings, really. You don’t have to click.

        2. Matt A. Myers

          Good point, and scary.

  10. Preston Pesek

    I guess we can chalk another one up to collateral damage caused by the disruption of the institution of journalism. I’m thrilled at some of the ways that technology is improving the speed and convenience of everything in life… however, it is increasingly difficult to find insightful journalism which has not only been crafted as a story that somehow captures the human experience, but is factually accurate and delivered in time to beat the mindless pipelines out there masquerading as news. Sometimes delivering goods or information to the market faster and cheaper is better, and sometimes it ends up costing everyone more. This piece of news reminds me of another mistake we’ve made collectively: styrofoam cups.

    1. Emily Merkle

      Well said.Another factor is the 24-hour news cycle – gotta churn out content to fill the airwaves. Add in citizen journalism and…

    2. fredwilson

      Styrofoam cups are awful. They should be banned!!

      1. Preston Pesek

        I could not agree more.

      2. Matt A. Myers

        I want people to start using glass containers again – health and environmental benefits can’t be beaten.I’d love to have a “milk” delivery person! So cool.Maybe a future startup of mine… to go along with a cafe/lounge/yoga studio + holistic wellness-food store. Just need to make my first $100 million first!

        1. PhilipSugar

          If you live in the country you still get your milk in glass containers, and your eggs so fresh they are still warm.

          1. Matt A. Myers

            Yup. We need to prune back the use of innovation, back in line with an intent – which I believe should be wellness / health.

        2. ShanaC

          You actually could make money in somewhere like brooklyn with the milk products. Dude, Brooklyn has a mayo store, why not delivering milk?

        3. dvhwgumby

          If you lived in Palo Alto you could still get your milk (& butter etc) delivered, though in cardboard, not glass.Then again if you lived in Berlin you could still get your beer delivered — in glass, naturally!

      3. Preston Pesek

        Just reviewed the video clip on a breakfast break… very strange. This particular instance is less about the erosion of journalism, and more about a single instance of what appears to be a news source trying to draw some sort of statement from you that they crafted prior to the interview… I picked up an undercurrent of aggression on the interviewer’s part. I can’t put my finger on it, but the whole thing just kind of stinks.

      4. ShanaC

        Not that paper cups are better.FYI: Many coffee places will give you a discount if you bring your own coffee cup πŸ™‚

  11. Rohan

    Seth’s post today was on the money, I thought. Excerpts..–Signal to noise ratio is a measurement of the relationship between the stuff you want to hear and the stuff you don’t. And here’s the thing: Twitter and email and Facebook all have a bad ratio, and it’s getting worse.The clickthrough rates on tweets is getting closer and closer to zero. Not because there aren’t links worth clicking on, but because there’s so much junk you don’t have the attention or time to sort it–The alternative, which is well worth it, is to find new channels you can trust. An RSS feed with only bloggers who respect your time. Relentless editing of who you follow and who you listen to and what gets on the top of the pile.Until you remove the noise, you’re going to miss a lot of signal.–

    1. Michael Elling

      Rohan, this signal/noise issue and knowledge management is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately across my email, linkedin, rss, twitter, comment-streams, etc… We need better filters that reflect both state/context and change. William might be on to something with engagio and I have a couple of ideas for him that involve disqus if he reaches out to me. Separately, I think we need a knew psychology term that encompasses a myriad of negative consequences and maladies that arise: fomotized, that occuring too often could lead to the state of being fomotose.

      1. Rohan

        Agree 100%. I’ve been working on this over the past few months.Google Reader solves the news + blog issue.But still doing some clean ups across twitter and facebook (major clean up required).And fomotized.. hahaha

    2. William Mougayar

      I love it. Bodes well for engagio who surfaces the conversation signals from the social media noise. I should talk to Seth πŸ™‚

      1. Rohan

        And @InfoStack:disqus below of course. πŸ™‚

      2. Donna Brewington White

        Love it — you personified Engagio with “who” ! I’m sure that for you it has become a living being.Okay, I’m going back to the salt mines.

      3. Timothy Meade

        @wmoug:disqus The emails are very helpful but the same subject line everyday destroys engagement, maybe same prefix but something relevant in the heading?

        1. William Mougayar

          That’s a great suggestion. We will do this. Thank you

          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          2. FAKE GRIMLOCK

            OOPS. MEANT TO BE REPLY TO @donnawhite:disqus

          3. William Mougayar




    3. Dave Pinsen

      This is admittedly a small sample size, but I’ve been trying out Twitter Ads (promoted tweets) for @portfolioarmor this week, and my click through rate so far is 2.14% (62 clicks out of 2,891 impressions).

      1. fredwilson

        that seems good, no?

        1. Dave Pinsen

          Now 2.22%. It compares favorably with Google Adwords. But when you take into account a typical ecommerce conversion rate of 1-2%, cost per new customer is >$100 for both (at a cost per click of about $1).

          1. fredwilson

            what is the lifetime value of a customer for your product?

          2. Dave Pinsen

            Right now, $68, so even with pay-per-click of $1 and a conversion rate of 1%, it wouldn’t be cost-effective. But it occurs to me that my conversion rate from Twitter ads would probably be significantly lower than 1%. The 1%-2% conversion rate I mentioned comes mainly from visitors who click over from my articles and guest blog posts. Those visitors tend to stick around for 2 minutes + on average and have a pretty low bounce rate (< 35%).On the few occasions where I’ve tried Google Adwords, visitors clicking from ads stayed an average of a few seconds and the bounce rate was closer to 100%. My guess is that visitors from Twitter ads / promoted tweets would show similar stats, but I can’t say for sure, because the tweets Twitter is using for my current campaign don’t link directly to my site; they link to my articles, which link to my site.

      2. Mark Essel

        Is that good, it doesn’t sound bad. How about action/signups, can you break even?

        1. Dave Pinsen

          As I mentioned to Fred, the click rate compares favorably with Adwords. With a conversion rate of 1-2%, the cost of a new customer would be about $100 for me, and PA’s subscription fee is $18 per month currently. So, if new customers stick around for 6 months (and I think most do), I could break even. But to lower risk and cost, I have advertised only rarely (I am going to stop this Twitter ad when my $100 voucher runs out tomorrow). My main source of new business has been Seeking Alpha articles, where not only don’t I have to pay for the traffic, but they pay me modestly ($10 per 1,000 clicks). And readers who click on Portfolio Armor from an article spend a lot more time on the site than those who click over from an ad.

          1. Mark Essel

            Fascinating area, conversion with regards to your app. With Adwords can you select sites related to researching personal trading etc.?If seeking alpha is creating enough demand to fill your pipeline, by all means keep on writing. Can’t beat organic traffic.Guest posts on popular financial news destinations, or interviews by popular financial folks is the next juicy candidate. But how do you get on their radar?

          2. Dave Pinsen

            I haven’t spent much time on Adwords for the reasons I mentioned in my last response to Fred nearby. Visitors don’t spend more than a few seconds on the site, in my experience, when they click from there.My pipeline could use more demand, but I’m wary of paying for it, as I haven’t found a cost-effective means of paid advertising yet.I am an occasional guest blogger on Slope of Hope and a few smaller sites, but it wouldn’t hurt to find more exposure. What I’m working on now, though, is adding a big, new capability to Portfolio Armor (something that’s been in the works for nearly a year).When that’s live, my goal is to add it to the website and also offer it to those who currently own the iOS app on a subscription basis. It would be nice to convert some iOS users to monthly subscribers for the new service.



  12. Ants Maran

    not surprising, hopefully forgotten in a day or two…a previous co-founder was in a joking mode with a journalist and said that the tech we developed was useful for finding the toilet; ergo that was the headline:-

  13. reece

    ahhh… the good ol’ soundbite

  14. Tom Labus

    But Arrington said ” I’ll take that as a yes”.Whoever did the tweet was following suit,.You are very public figure now and this is part of the territory.

    1. fredwilson

      Except that i specifically clarified that i was not confirming anything

      1. Tom Labus

        Unless you hammered him on the point, he was taking anything you said as confirmation.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          I’d say that’s lying, and defamatory.It’s very important that people with the most clout aren’t misquoted, that their promoted/perceived reputation matches their character (meaning, they aren’t lies or pieces of story that remove what was said out of context, or worse, complete lies).I’ve thought this through a lot, and the systems are coming into place to allow all the important parts of a reputation system to be created – for the mass consumer, as a platform.

          1. Cam MacRae

            In a perfect world it should have read:’Google got the chance to buy Twitter, but the search giant passed, says Michael Arrington. β€œGoogle hasn’t been interested in buying Twitter since they committed themselves to Google+” says Fred Wilson`But that’s 75 characters too many for a tweet, so instead we got a bit of editorialising and the more authoritative quote. Deliberately misleading? Without doubt; it’s TechCrunch. Libel? I don’t think so.

          2. Matt A. Myers

            Should they not be scrutinized though and called out?I think so.EDIT: Every. Fucking. Time.

          3. Cam MacRae

            Perhaps the evenhandedness of my response put too thick of a veneer on my utter contempt for TechCrunch…Of course they should, and Fred has done so in today’s post. Libel is a bit of a stretch, ’tis all I’m saying.

          4. Matt A. Myers

            I suppose the reason I defined it as libel is that I find it as much of a destructive thing to society as bullying.Yes – you can learn from bullying experiences (grow as a person, if you have good supports to work through it), though there’s no mandated / required system to keep track of bullies and perhaps help figure out why the person is being a bully.EDIT: To clarify, I consider gossiping to be a form of bullying – when things are taken out of context and deeper domain knowledge of the topic aren’t known; Gossip in a malicious / non-constructive way is terrible IMHO – that’s determined by good intentions or not.

          5. Emily Merkle

            No one should be misquoted.

      2. Cam MacRae

        And he confirmed that he’d made his point, which is tantamount to putting his fingers in his ears and saying “la la la la la la la la la la la”.You’re absolutely right to be disappointed, but in no way should you be surprised.

        1. Brandon Marker

          @cammacrae:disqus I chuckled to myself when that was said. And none of us were surprised, I’m sure.

  15. Brad

    And you thought journalists were objective? Seems he was trying to break a story that was not there. Journalists, especially during an election year, should be called opinionators”

  16. Jan Schultink

    We should just stop clicking link bait headlines and stop following people who post them all the time.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      As long as there will be enough sheep to make it profitable, it will exist.

      1. ShanaC

        Yellow Journalism still didn’t stop the growth of the business pages or mainline important newspapers. We’re still figuring out how to monetize the yellow – after that will be the really heavy stuff…

    2. Andy

      But what if it’s really good link bait?

      1. Jan Schultink


  17. John Best

    Its a bizarre thing to write when it’s so obviously easy to debunk. Perhaps its a combination of lazy sensationalism and relying on lazy readership.Has Mike / TC offered any kind of explanation?

    1. fredwilson

      It wasnt mike’s doing. He isnt with techcrunch anymore

      1. John Best

        Indeed, very publicly not! I would have thought/hoped that he’d still have retained some overview of the interviews he conducts on their behalf though.

  18. Matt A. Myers

    After reading that headline my I had a gut reaction that something didn’t feel right – it’s not something that fits with what or how you say things.That should be defamatory and liable in many senses.A top VC, @fredwilson:disqus, saying something like this would be potentially bad for Twitter’s valuation, Google’s valuation, and potentially have positive influence on the value of other competitors. And it starts to define Fred.Sadly, as the ruling for ‘Fox News’ – news doesn’t actually have to be factual.Society should implement mandatory differentiation between News and Entertainment sites – so people have a reference point for quality and accuracy, accountability.

  19. Aaron Klein

    “The Internet will be used for all kinds of spurious things, including fake quotes from smart people.” -Albert Einstein

    1. Matt A. Myers

      “The problem with quotes on the Internet is that you don’t know if they are genuine” β€” Abraham Lincoln

    2. Rohan

      “When the hell did I say that?” – Albert Einstein’s ghost

      1. JimHirshfield

        Two comments ago, Einstein!

      2. Donna Brewington White

        I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          A new side to Donna – dark and mysterious.. I like it.

    3. Donna Brewington White

      When in doubt …check the video. –Mark Twain

  20. Dan T

    with all due respect (telegraphing a dissenting thought here . .)you said exactly what he quoted – “hasn’t been interested . . ” 2 times. You never said anything that implied you thought they missed the boat – that’s what he thinks. What you said supported his opinion – in his view. As a disinterested onlooker here, this seems almost ordinary, although I can imagine I would have been pissed about it as well.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      The problem is the quote is taken out of context, and including a general statement that will become inferred / attached via the “says Fred Wilson”The problem here only exists if you care if the general reader gets a quick/real understanding of what’s going on.For the 80% of the users (or higher), who will infer the relationship as being connected – that @fredwilson:disqus also believes that Google missed the boat in buying Twitter.This is a problem if you care that the general population has an accurate overview of the world.It’s pretty important, the most important.It’s as bad, perhaps arguably worse than censorship even.

    2. Michael Elling

      Dan, Fred actually said the opposite about “missing the boat” twice and further underscored that Twitter has the means and desire to stay independent. It is one thing to take things out of context; it is entirely different to report the opposite. That’s just bad and unethical journalism and now I will remember Arrington for this. I was in this position with the media a lot in the 1990s as an equity analyst. Fred is very practiced at this and he was emphatic enough that there could be no confusion.

  21. aarondelcohen

    What’s most interesting about this is your ability to set the record straight. They recorded it. You watched and highlighted. Now Mike can join the conversation here. Sensational Journalism has a long history that predates the Internet (see Citizen Kane or even Deadwood), but your ability to blog and/or tweet your rebuttal is a new phenomena. Now the tweeter who controls the @techcrunch account can join the conversation and explain why they tweeted what they did.Journalism has been as disrupted as any other industry. I think our ability to hold these emerging news/commentary brands accountable has only just begun.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Agreed. It’s be a he/she-said he/she-said otherwise. Infuriating when someone’s lying.

    2. fredwilson


    3. ShanaC

      does it matter though – just because you defend your story won’t make it true in the public eye.It matters just as much if the story is picked up. Most plebes don’t get that option….

      1. aarondelcohen

        Yes, I think it matters a great deal. I bet or one of the big data companies would find that an article like this one does not spread as much after fred’s challenge. Generally speaking, I believe that news will become more and not less accurate during the information revolution. Yesterday’s post was not subject to the fact-checking scrutiny of, say The New Yorker, but on the other hand we must have at least 100,000x more people creating news and 1 mmx more people responding. Over time, this means the opportunity to get all of the news with varying perspectives and crowd-sourced fact checking means the news becomes can become more accurate.

        1. ShanaC

          I still think you can turf it if you plan out what responses people see…

  22. JLM

    .This just typifies what has been known — the level of accuracy of what poses for journalism is nil. There is no fact checking.This is not new, it has just been revealed. Again. Again. Again.Journalism — reliable facts reported by objective reporters — is dead. It will never be resuscitated.Only first hand information can be relied upon. And sometimes YOUR eyes lie to even you.Who are you going to really believe? Me? Or your LYING eyes?Journalism is dead. Long live journalism. Last one out, turn off all the machines..

    1. Matt A. Myers

      The best thing we can do is implement a fact-checking system for accountability purposes.I have a lot of thoughts written down about this. It’ll be a project of mine at some point if my other plans take off.Journalism is dead. Long live accountability.

  23. bsoist

    I’m fairly certain this is not the first time MA has misquoted someone, right?I do find it interesting that you thought “did I really say that?” Am I reading too much into that?

    1. Matt A. Myers

      I think it shows great character that he’s open to the idea, and fact-checking himself and not just dismissing it.I know when I’m in the flow of thoughts things come out of my mouth that I wouldn’t be able to repeat a second time. This somewhat includes me not fully paying attention to what I am saying.

      1. bsoist

        No doubt I would have had the same reaction if someone misquoted me, but I am privy to my thoughts.I don’t expect Fred to admit he was really thinking that in the comments here, I was just wondering if that phrase caught anyone else like it did me.Even if he did think that, I wouldn’t want him to say it. As has already been pointed out, it would be irresponsible for him to have said something like that. That’s why many of us knew something was not right when we saw the headline.Sorry, @fredwilson:disqus if I’m perpetuating the problem – and for talking about you like you’re not here. πŸ™‚

    2. fredwilson

      This isnt arrington’s doing. He had nothing to do with the post or tweet

      1. juandissimo

        After watching the clip – it did seem to be an attempt at “leading” your response – but I get your point – that does not mean that he is responsibile for any and all headlines/tweets about it afterwards.

      2. bsoist

        “had nothing to do with” it is being generous, but you’re right – he didn’t misquote you. My mistake.

  24. Dave W Baldwin

    What I write is in no way to be inferred as diminishing Fred.First, the bigger news today is Facebook and all innuendos involved. Just as big is the launch of the Falcon9/Dragon that you can follow in real time on Twitter. @Rohan’s reference to Seth’s statement involving Signal/Noise can be seen as Arrington trying to get readership by playing with words. The guys at Google know Fred isn’t trying to diss. The readership at large won’t remember it by Friday. Remember, not so long ago, you had one big Investor saying he’d never have anything to do with a upstart Investor following the big conspiracy story from California… Hell, within 3 months (like I knew would happen) both of those guys were primary investors in the same new start up.Noise is noise. I’d say with the coverage of Facebook, it is time to beat the drums regarding the real story which is Apple/Facebook wanting you to believe they own you and Twitter/Google showing their platforms are nothing but platforms in the infinite space of the web. In the long timeline, those that show the retail investor/advertiser how that works for them will be much better off.

  25. PhilipSugar

    I must be in the minority, but its painful for me to watch an interview where it seems obvious the interviewer is trying to trip up the interviewee. It just makes me uncomfortable. But it must sell because that is how so many reporters do it. You see it in sports as well. We’re not doing a police interrogation and the interviewee is in reality doing the interviewer a favor not the other way around.

    1. LE

      But it must sell because that is how so many reporters do it.I was just talking about this tonight with my wife. The fact that everything is driven by what “people” want but pundits always wrongly get mad at the decision makers who just implement a product (news) that attracts an audience so they can sell advertising and make a living. Nightly news putting pretty woman to report and do the news? Don’t blame the station management blame the public. It’s what they want to watch.She agreed with me and then told me to turn off some dramatization of the Reagan assassination that I was watching so we could both watch “Real Housewives of OC”.

    2. JamesHRH

      Phil – see comment above. I totally happens because news is no longer about news – its about reporters trying to build a reputation. In a classic twist of irony, Woodward & Bernstein caused all this by busting Nixon.Arrington is completely, 100% self serving. He is not about breaking news, he is about Mike Arrington being associated with breaking news.

  26. Brandon Marker

    Many of the TC comments on the related article, including mine, were along the lines of “wtf”

    1. fredwilson

      i saw that and i appreciate it

  27. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Should we all engage in a campaign tweeting factual but harmless quotes from FW, directing them all at @techcrunch? Sort of a denial of nonsense attack?

    1. Matt A. Myers

      @fredwilson:disqus ‘s favourite colour is blue. (Just a guess, but since he didn’t respond at the time of writing this – I’ll confirm it as true..) @techcrunch

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Ha! Fred Wilson today: “yup” @techcrunch

    2. Cam MacRae

      As appealing as that might sound, it will take only one idiot to make a very real problem for Fred.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        I was kidding, Grasshopper.But I’m curious, what kind of very real problem do you envision? He’s already killed the VC industry πŸ˜‰ (Yes, I DO call him Drop Dead Fred whenever I get the chance.)

        1. Cam MacRae

          I know. The kind where shit sticks.

  28. davidhclark

    It was a great, thought-provoking interview. I loved that Arrington was the interviewer. When I saw the TC headline I also thought it was misrepresented (ironically they’re talking about making mistakes in headlines right now on stage). Hopefully they’ll catch their own.

  29. lucascott

    Never let the truth get in the way of good hit fodder. — Michael Arrington (and basically every major site blogger out there)

  30. NickNYC242

    Fred – you make a very interesting point / highlight an emergin issue/problem: There’s the ability to counterpoint anything reported in either the “mainstream” press or “new media” but the downfall is that both sides (or any number of sides) aren’t often/ever aggregated in the same place. It seems like there is an increasing opportunity to provide multiple viewpoints and some distillation of fact vs opinion with that coverage, either from a third party, or from a browser plug-in that can counterpoint whatever you’re reading at the moment. Any interest in investment in the news distillation/aggregation realm?On a side note, it seems that you’ve had a couple of weeks full of correcting the record after someone uses you as link-bait post event attendance. Please keep doing what you’re doing as it’s an inspiration to founders, investors, and aspiring versions of both. Correcting the record always wins over not having one.

    1. fredwilson

      the new “letter to the editor”

  31. joshsc

    I’m the author of the article and tweet. I apologize for not being clearer. The headline was meant to convey both my opinion that Google missed the boat, followed by a period to denote the end of my opinion. I then included the quote from Fred Wilson. I wrongly assumed a period would be enough to distinguish my opinion from Fred’s quote.I’ve changed the headline to “Update: ‘Google Hasn’t Been Interested In Buying Twitter Since They Committed Themselves To Google+’ -Fred Wilson” and I’ve added an update to the first paragraph of the article and a link to this AVC post explaining “[Update: To clarify, I believe Google missed the boat on buying Twitter, while Wilson simply said Google wasn’t interested in such a purchase since it committed to Google+. Wilson did not make a value judgement on Google not buying Twitter, nor did he confirm that acquisition discussions ever took place.] and an update to the body paragraph on the topic noting “[Update: Wilson never confirmed Arrington’s rumor, nor did he imply that not purchasing Twitter was the wrong move for Google]”

    1. Emily Merkle

      That was a real stand-up thing to do.

    2. ShanaC

      Thank you. I mean it. Many people aren’t trying to be helpful to shift away from clickbait into “old school journalism done right on the web”….

      1. LE

        Noting that this probably wouldn’t have happened if Fred wasn’t Fred and hadn’t mentioned it as anyone who has tried to correct a blogger may have experienced at some point.

        1. ShanaC

          True, but we can still be thankful for changes!

    3. Tom Labus

      Congrats on doing that!

    4. JLM

      Really, given the feeding frenzy here on, it only seems right that you let us cut off a pinkie or an ear lobe. Virtually, of course.Maybe shave your head instead?Remember that Fred is our god over here and it interferes with the Corn Worship Fertility Festival when he is quoted incorrectly.Stand up thing you’ve done here. Well played!Bit too much coffee maybe.

      1. Mark Essel

        Not enough. Those all sound like appropriate forms of restitution.

      2. ShanaC

        Current coffee of choice?

        1. JLM

          Keurig brewed Donut Shop. Like Dunkin Donuts of NJ fame..

          1. ShanaC

            Dunkin Donuts started in MA, Quincy actually, by two brothers, though primiarly attributed to William Rosenberg. And they used to roast their own coffee on premise.Weird fact that my father just realized.My grandfather used to import his own green coffee (before roasting). My dad remembers growing up having tried every kind of coffee except for Kopi Luwak/civet coffee. He was trying to figure out who did the roasting for my grandfather, and remembered that the two Rosenberg brothers were friends of my grandfather, and that they owned their own roasting work for Dunkin the entire time. We’re working with the assumption that Dunkin’s used to do private roasting back in the 60s.

        2. fredwilson

          i was into espresso but have gotten back to good old strong black coffee lately

          1. Ants Maran

            Every black coffee drinker should try our local Zoegas blend at least once. It’s the king.

          2. fredwilson


          3. Ants Maran

            :- on it’s way

    5. Brandon Marker

      well done, Josh. I feel you may have also felt some TC pressure on that post, so no hard feelings

    6. Cam MacRae

      Good on ya, mate.

    7. William Mougayar

      Josh- I think you handled this Mea Culpa way better than another Forbes reporter did 2 weeks ago. Well played, and much respect to you.

      1. fredwilson


    8. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Now, what are you going to do about all those styrofoam cups? πŸ˜‰

    9. Dave W Baldwin

      Good job. Maybe do the first part as the question (?) followed by quote. Or you can follow with paraphrase. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking the source if the tweet you’re prepping is cool or not.

    10. JamesHRH

      Josh – you are a hack. That’s not meant to be emotional – it is a technical term for someone who publishes unclear, semi-opinion items as reportage.Think before you tweet, blog or speak partner. Otherwise, you will have to fill in the IRS form differently.

    11. fredwilson

      thanks Josh. i appreciate it.

  32. Ciaran

    Love it:” I hope people don’t write that.”

    1. fredwilson

      and they did

  33. Mike Folgner

    Fred, the service is called SnappyTV (not snapid) – we do live video editing and sharing, letting media companies tweet their TV and live web streaming content. Send me a note to @mfolgs if you want any other clips or anything else. Thanks! Mike Folgner and the SnappyTV team.

    1. fredwilson

      it’s a great service.

  34. Guest

    I said a few years back that the web (not the internet) will become just like TV.So, in response to your post. It doesn’t really matter what you actually said. What matters is creating a headline that grabs people’s attention.I used to write for a computer programming magazine and I always tried to come up with a catchy title for my articles. That’s what get’s people to start reading.Like your title “Setting The Record Straight”. That’s much better than “Hey Someone Mis-Quotted Me”. πŸ™‚

  35. William Mougayar

    AVC- the blog where over-zealous reporter come to roost. 2 weeks ago, it was Forbes. Today TechCrunch. Who’s next?Fred- you’re teaching them to be accurate and less sensational, and that’s a great thing you’re doing indirectly. Next time someone will misquote you, they’ll know what’s coming. Let’s see how your PaidContent interview with @mathewi goes tomorrow.

    1. fredwilson

      i am looking forward to the talk with @matthewi

  36. Otto

    It’s not just that people play fast and loose with their own words, people now play fast and loose with how they receive them too. Quick to speak and draw conclusions, but slow to seek understanding. People hear, but few listen. People just wait for their turn to talk. It goes with the territory I suppose, but I think it has less to do with the medium and more to do with culture.

    1. Emily Merkle

      Very well put.

  37. Bobby Fischer

    Could be a deliberate spin on your words, could be a misinterpretation. That is all up to the audience. Can’t hate on them for that… “If it’s on the internet, it has to be true.” – Mark Zuckerberg

  38. Rohan

    Oh, Busy day.. and a little late.. but happy birthday to our dearest Mark @messelHope you have a kickass day Mark! πŸ˜€

  39. Mark Essel

    I prefer the following misquote:”Google missed the boat on hiring Mark Essel. He hasn’t been interested in BigCos since he got a taste of startups by creating a bizarre Twitter app. They’ll have to cough up copious amounts of cash to retain his services now” Says President Obama

    1. Donna Brewington White

      MARK ESSEL — HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You are a swell guy!

      1. Dale Allyn

        @markessel What she ^ said!!Edit: sorry, had to remove the original disqus tag because it self-populated with spam. It seems @disqus has been hacked or has weird bug.

        1. Tyler Hayes

          I can assure you we haven’t been hacked. Can you shoot me an email with more details?

          1. Dale Allyn

            Hi Tyler, I was ‘speaking’ tongue-in-cheek regarding the “hacking”. Sorry about that. I should have added a “;)” .I submitted a support e-mail. Here’s the ticket #: 117400​​​. I should have left the glitch in place and let you see it before editing it. In a knee-jerk reaction I opted to remove it so as not to be viewed as a spammer.

        2. Donna Brewington White

          And here I thought you were calling me “Princess”(I clicked on the link from my email to see what had gotten into you! I see now that it was just a little spam.)

          1. Dale Allyn

            Haha, Donna. You ARE our Princess, and our Queen Bee (along with all the other brilliant women here!). Maybe Tyler can glean something from the e-mail notice you received. It was weird to select Mark from the tag list and see it post as spam.

          2. Mark Essel

            Like Mau-Dib my Disqus name is a word of power?

          3. Dale Allyn

            I think there’s an ointment for that, Mark.;)

        3. Mark Essel

          Thanks Dale!

      2. ShanaC


      3. Mark Essel


    2. ShanaC

      Happy Birthday (again)

      1. Mark Essel

        I try to eek out as long a celebration as possible. Last year I celebrated my birthday for 3 months. It was awkward singing happy birthday to me at other folks’ parties, but we got used to it πŸ™‚

      2. Mark Essel

        Thanks again Shana.

    3. Matt A. Myers

      Happy Birthday? Happy Birthday!

      1. Mark Essel

        to me!

  40. jason wright

    What if there had been no record of the interview and only the TC tweet?

    1. fredwilson

      that would have been unfortunate

      1. jason wright

        does the galaxy nexus have audio record function?

        1. fredwilson

          yes, via the soundcloud app

  41. JamesHRH

    One thing about Mike that is hard for most people to stomach: he is a chickenshit.- ‘I think I made my point.’- ‘I will take that as a confirmation.’- ‘I heard a rumour that I would like you to confirm & I think you can.’In direct terms: ‘I, Mike Arrington, believe Google had a chance to buy Twitter @ $5B. I have spoken to people who were, in all probability, within 1 degree of separation of the parties who discussed this transaction. I believe they totally blew it in not doing so.’He should grow a backbone.

    1. Mark Essel

      Legal background probably has some influence. A little too careful, and it comes across odd.

  42. Donna Brewington White

    Were you just a tad concerned when Arrington said, “It doesn’t matter. I made my point.” ? Basically he implied that you confirmed his point.And that’s what they tweeted. Technically the tweet is correct. What they left out was the question mark after the first sentence. Even still, the implication would be made.That sucks.The casual language of new media doesn’t necessarily have to lead to casual truth.

  43. Nikhil Nirmel

    A minor comment: I think from your tone, you implied that the reason Google didn’t by Twitter was that they were focussed on plus. Missing the boat is not what you said, but it’s directly inferable if you agree that Twitter is worth significantly more now.

  44. John@PGISelfDirected

    This is just one of the reasons why I love browsing this site. Nice post, nice comments and superb insights all around. Thanks, AVC!

  45. Chris Phenner

    I am disappointed every time I see Mike Arrington on ‘Charlie Rose,’ and I was disappointed to see Mike Arrington interviewing Fred Wilson at TC Disrupt.The reason I am disappointed is because every time somebody smart like Charlie or Fred agrees to appear with Mike Arrington, it makes Mike Arrington look smarter.Rhetorical: Did readers of AVC think it was funny or clever that Mike Arrington, during his interview then-Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, built up the interview to the point where the ‘crescendo’ was Carol having to tell Mike to fuck off?I don’t care that Mike Arrington created TC and sold it to AOL. I don’t care that Mike Arrington has changed news coverage of startups and web apps. What I am saying here is that Mike Arrington is not the kind of person who should be given any further gravitas to appear to be a luminary of our industry.Please join me in supporting writers who exemplify the ability to ask the best questions, instead of making on-stage appearances and so many of their posts all about themselves — we have enough distractions as web workers ever day.

  46. Jim Tousignant

    Fred, I was at TechCrunch on Monday when you were being interviewed and not only did you NOT make that comment, you also specifically corrected Mike Arrington and further clarified your comment on stage, so the writer had two chances to get it right. Fortunately, your blog allows you to easily “set the record straight”.Josh, good job updating your story to clarify Fred’s comments.

  47. NickDaney

    This worked out well. Josh apologized, corrected his statement and Fred accepted. But what about statements made by other folks that aren’t as blog (tech) savvy or have the clout that Fred does and are taken out of context. Fred, Is there an App/Blog for that? Should there be?

    1. fredwilson


  48. SnappyTV

    FYI…the clipping technology is from a company called @SnappyTV not SnapID. πŸ™‚

    1. fredwilson

      yup. but techcrunch calls it snapid on their video page

  49. Preston Pesek
  50. fredwilson

    I will nuke the second one

  51. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I’m tweeting that right now…