Put That TechCrunch Down

Photo Credit: Techcrunchstore

To the rest of the tech world: Detroit, Michigan must appear dead.

Detroit doesn’t have any startup launch parties and we certainly don’t praise funding announcements. Venture capital investment in Michigan companies during the first six months of 2011 plunged to its lowest level in 16 years. Ouch.

Unfortunately, this means our stories are never published in TechCrunch! #wahhh

Go ahead and run a search query on TechCrunch for the keyword Detroit. Thats right, there are only 3 stories this year with Detroit in the title.

So why do so many of us view TechCrunch as the holy gospel, as if it’s something that we can relate to?

Put That Coffee TechCrunch Down.

In the famous Glengarry Glen Ross monologue, the young Alec Baldwin emphatically grabs the attention of his underperforming sales team by calling them out. With a few expletives, he successfully drives the point home and gets them focused.

I’m not a physiologist, but rabid consumption and obsessive re-tweeting of the myriad of stories, like a photo sharing app raising $41 million dollars, seem to distort ones expectations. It creates a false sense of reality and that is the last thing we need clouding our minds in Detroit.

More Production, Less Consumption.

The startup community in Michigan is alive and well. Entrepreneurs are here and when we get together we get stronger. When we share our startups, our stories, and our failures the feeling is real.

Having worked in Detroit area startups for 5 years, I can confidently tell you there is a renewed interest in the city and its surroundings. Look no further than Michigan’s own Dan Gilbert.

You wouldn’t know that by reading TechCrunch.

View Erick  Bzovi's LinkedIn profileView Erick Bzovi’s profile

  • Arnav Guleria

    I came here with the impression that Detroit is an economic backwater that the free markets is just taking a while to put away…and am leaving with that impression. You had an opportunity to change my mind (I was  hoping to be surprised when I clicked the link on Hacker News). But instead of seeing hope I see anger. Places brimming with opportunity don’t tend to be angry about not being noticed – if anything, they’re glad for the lack of competition. 

    • I’m so confused. Did you actually read this guest post? I got the impression that Bzovi is stating simply to stay focused on what you’re doing, and not judge your project/startup by what you see in a national tech publication — the idea that doing so will only serve as a distraction to making your work the best it can be.

      If there was any anger in this, it was lost on me. Especially given that his startup was featured in Techcrunch just last month…

    • There is no anger Arnav. Rather, just voicing an opinion on ‘information dieting’

    • You’re welcome to go on thinking that it’s an economic backwater. What we build here isn’t the shiniest electronic gadget or cool website for sharing cat pictures. We’re building real things, things you can actually use. The best cars and trucks in the world roll out of Detroit. The only production electric motorcycle (http://www.currentmotor.com/), which is built close to my house. The armor used on military vehicles.  Smallpox vaccine.

      • @facebook-100000050856342:disqus thanks, for sharing the link to Current Motor. very cool. Now I know what I want for Xmas.

      • bill the builder

        You mean like this one made in California (complete with Jay Leno quote)?:


        • Ouch

        • Dude, thanks for the link. There’s a dealer about half an hour from my house. I’ll have to check that out.

  • Here are some detroit publications I visit regularly for local news on startups:
    -Crains: http://www.crainsdetroit.com/section/secondstage-news
    -Xconomy: http://www.xconomy.com/detroit/
    -D Business: http://www.dbusiness.com/
    -Hackers & Hustlers (facebook): https://www.facebook.com/groups/hackersandhustlers

  • Also check out the Detroit / Ann Arbor StartupDigest > http://startupdigest.com/michigan/. You can see all the activities and events going on in the area each week. 

  • There are startups in Detroit? 🙂

  • But in all seriousness, it’s just a matter of those startups reaching out to TechCrunch, or other publications. Here’s an idea – write a guest post for TechCrunch listing the top 10 most interesting Detroit startups. They’ll probably publish it.

    • Thats a great idea for GrowDetroit as well :]

    • Thanks for weighing in, Mike. Excited to do just that, and at the same time appreciate Bzovi’s candor in writing this.

      As this localized startup community is developed, think it’s truly important for these startup founders to keep their noses to the grindstone, so that they may focus on making creating the best companies, and not be deterred by the latest funding announcement to come out of the Valley.

      It’s interesting…Michigan seems to have a track record with regard to tech innovators. Wait a minute… isn’t Siegler a U-M alum?!  😉

    • Alex Schiff

      @growdetroit:disqus , you should write that guest post and submit it to TC. I would do it but I would be clearly biased as a participant (Fetchnotes).
      That said, @arrington:disqus, if you’re looking for interesting startups in Detroit, check out Are You A Human and LoveLand Technologies. They are one of a kind.

  • A very interesting interview about the rebirth of Detroit on This Week in Venture Capital (Mark Suster interviews Josh Linkner of Detroit Venture Partners): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ_71fXchuM

  • Csonjeow

    My coaches used to say, “win on the scoreboard, not in the penalty box.” Focus on bringing in money and the tech world will have no choice but to pay attention.

    • nice one. ‘Sales Cures All’ really speaks volumes to me!

  • Came across this on Hacker News – Why TechCrunch is boring, SAP is not, and the world has gone mad – http://peopleprocesstech.com/2011/12/05/why-techcrunch-is-boring-sap-is-not-and-the-world-has-gone-mad/