The big news story driving this post is the possibility of Michael Arrington leaving TechCrunch.
Arrington began TechCrunch as “just a blog” and grew it into the tech juggernaut it is today. The TechCrunch story is a powerful demonstration of what happens when you exercise complete editorial freedom and have great writers.
There are now a number of excellent and diverse writers and content producers working for TechCrunch, which was recently bought out by AOL. So the TechCrunch brand has for years now been evolving and becoming more multifaceted with the likes of Paul Carr and MG Siegler, just to name two whom I can recall off the top of my head (which shows you just how much they influence my perception of the TechCrunch brand).
But Arrington’s personality was always the driving force behind the scenes as well as publicly due to his prolific writing. Brash, ballsy, outspoken, breaking the big news and taking no prisoners is the TechCrunch brand. Much of that comes from the personal brand of Michael Arrington.
To answer the question my headline poses (at least for me), let me share with you my first thought when I heard Arrington might be leaving TechCrunch:
If he leaves, I’m going with him.
Let me unpack that for you: If Arrington leaves TechCrunch, I’m going to continue to follow what he does, read what he writes and listen to what he says. I don’t mean I’ll be riding shotgun with him.
Because I dig him. Arrington is a boss.
This doesn’t mean I will stop reading TechCrunch, but the main reason I liked TechCrunch was because I like Arrington.
If Arrington leaves, I’ll be watching for signs that TechCrunch is changing and assessing whether or not I will like those changes.
So for me, personally, it seems that personal branding wins over company branding.
How about you?