New, new, new TechCrunch

New, new, new TechCrunch


In the beginning, there was TechCrunch.

Then there was new TechCrunch. And, if you’ve been reading TechCrunch for the last five years or so, you’re used to seeing new, new TechCrunch. Our last redesign, launched in 2013, was conceived when iOS was still Skeuomorphic and responsive web design was forward thinking. It’s served us well, but the internet never stands still and neither do we.

Today, we’re launching new, new, new TechCrunch to about 10 percent of our readers. If you’re in that group, you’re going to see a very, very 1.0 version of our new site that we’re going to build on over the next few years to deliver what we hope is an experience that aligns perfectly with what we cover as well as how we cover it.

The premise of TechCrunch has always been built around seeing things first. If you want to know about the companies that will be profiled next year in the weekend tech sections of big newspapers, or see and hear from the founders that will trot out onto the stage of a vanity project design conference 18 months down the line, you read TechCrunch now and you come to our Disrupt conferences now.

We make it our business to wade into the ocean of new companies, technologies, founders and investors that make up the worldwide community of early stage startups and absorb as much as we can as early as we can. We’re the ‘tip of the spear’ in many of these cases, and it’s our job to parse these topics, give you context and have an ongoing conversation in clear, plain language with you.

When we know it, you know it. Back in 2009, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington made the case for what has been coined process journalism and Jeff Jarvis summed it up succinctly, saying that “newspaper people see their articles as finished products of their work. Bloggers see their posts as part of the process of learning.”

No matter what you call it, the shape of it is really a conversation between the reader and the writer. As the word blogging has become a pejorative and the impact of decisions made about technology have been made dramatically and frighteningly clear, I believe that the overall shift has been away from having conversations and towards pontification. Over the past couple of years, the tech journalism meter has been pegged all the way over at cynical, knowing smugness, which doesn’t do much to invite people in and encourage discussion about the way that technology is built, funded and developed.

Instead, our way is to approach technological topics from a place of healthy skepticism, but genuine optimism as well. Technology is not going to magically stop or disappear. It will only get more powerful and more important. So it’s our job to examine the power structures that bring it into existence and examine the sociological and business advantages that greater awareness, more organic cultural connections to the societies that they will eventually serve and a diverse and inclusive engineering culture can make for better tech. You can’t do that from on top of the mountain. You have to get out here and wade through it with the builders.

The TechCrunch philosophy is to stay close enough to feel the heat without getting hypnotized by the flames. We’re not always perfect or right, but we’re willing to be here, to really understand it and to make an honest attempt to help others to.

All newsrooms are or should be evaluating how to handle the rapidly shifting sands of tech news, but the core fact is that these conversations have no end. Even when a company closes up shop or gets acquired the diaspora of talent, money and technology may have reverberations down the line.

And the product of journalism has not kept up with the need to have these conversations. When we began designing the new, new, new TechCrunch, the desire to have the site support rapid-fire, stream-of-understanding journalism in a way that could be presented as a conversation supported by context was the theological underpinning. Everything else was designed around that idea.

Just like the companies that we cover here at TechCrunch, what we’re shipping isn’t perfect. I’m sure a ton of people reading this are probably taking a break from coding, launching, building, shipping and tweaking products.

That’s why we’re launching with what we consider to be an MVP version of TechCrunch. We want you to check it out, let us know what you think and stress test it. This is a beta, a beginning. But we think it’s pretty cool. We’ll have more to say about the site and all of its features, as well as how we went about building it, in the future.

For now, here are some things to look out for as more and more of you begin to see it.

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