Michael Arrington, Canadian Startup CEO

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Ever heard of Michael Arrington the Canadian Startup CEO? No… why not? He was right here. Yes here. In Ottawa. I mean it.

Have you heard of Michael Arrington the guy who runs TechCrunch? I’m going to assume you have.

After a coffee with my pal Scott Lake (Founder of Swix) a week or so ago about how TechCrunch doesn’t actually translate into signups, I casually mentioned I’d met Arrington a few times.

“Where?” came Scott’s logical next question.

“Here in Ottawa,” I replied, “he lived here. I’m pretty sure he wrote once or twice for the citizen and ran pool.com and then Zip.ca.”

“Oh, I didn’t know that.”

Most people don’t. Michael Arrington doesn’t hide this stuff. And so I thought it was a bit funny when I noticed his tongue-in-cheek, rant on why there will never be a TechCrunch Canada Conference. Mike is very aware of what went on here in Canada during 1999-2004 (or thereabouts) and now. Because he lived here.

This is my memory of Mike Arrington Ottawa Startup guy. Mike was brought in (from Vancouver? I believe.) by Bob Hall who was one of the first guys here in Ottawa to start an ISP and he also ran an umbrella group called Momentous. This group took the money from his ISP side of the business and invested in new startups, much as an incubator (that’s where Arrington was), out of there came Pool.com, Zip.ca (Canada’s early answer to Netflix), and one or two other startups whose names escape me. I knew Bob as an angel for a few startups here in Ottawa. Mike was a lawyer/CEO and a polite one – he never claimed technical prowess. The three times I bumped into him he’d give me the same short pitch on whatever he was up to and make some polite conversation and move on. Typical local CEO guy, he’d pick up the phone if you called and I never heard anything much about him.

I’m beginning to feel like an old hat here in Ottawa, remembering when….

But for those who think Mike hates or doesn’t respect Canada’s tech community cut the guy some slack. He’s actually run Canadian startups – most of those bitching him out haven’t.

 

 

The Author

Hi. My name is Matt Roberts, you can find me at www.mattroberts.com.

1 Comment

  1. Japman_Bajaj says

    haha, yes, i too am surprised more people don’t know this! When I read Arrington’s TechCrunch "anti-Canada" article, I thought it was really funny since he was here in the height of the boom (and as you mentioned, part of the death of the boom). I don’t know the name off hand, but one of the 4 "Arms of Momentous" is also a marketing/digital agency… One of their more recent large campaigns was an Alberto European shampoo campaign. They were also responsible for the web-portion of a Gilette campaign (or some other razor — as you can see from my pic, i’m not well versed in razors! haha)

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