Theirs was a lover's quarrel, startup style. But now Hollywood tech barker Jason Calacanis has kissed and made up with his Silicon Valley conference partner Mike Arrington. And in true Valley fashion, the couple is pretending nothing happened.
Calacanis had proclaimed on Twitter and in a YouTube interview the end of the TechCrunch 50, the Web startup conference the Mahalo founder hosts with Arrington. Calacanis had told others at this year's conference about a fight with TechCrunch.com publisher Arrington, VentureBeat reported. Arrington played the blasé diva when we called him for comment, saying, "I'm not going to say I didn't have words with him because I have words with people all the time... life will go on without Jason Calacanis."
Now, Calacanis tells VentureBeat, the conference is back on. The short celebrity gladhander has a vested interest in reprising his odd couple conference routine with Arrington, the tall, beefy self-styled don of the Valley's hopelessly geeky startup scene: In an economic environment where other conferences are struggling, TechCrunch 50 remains a financial success for Calacanis and Arrington and, more to the point, a fantastically powerful vehicle for publicity and influence. And, besides, with the name tied to Arrington's trademark, what's to keep him from doing it without Calacanis?
It must be a bit embarrassing for Calacanis to crawl back to Arrington after so loudly storming off. To salvage his dignity, he's now claiming, to VentureBeat, that he was only kidding around, in part because the YouTube interview was conducted by a puppet:
[16:05] jasoncalacanis: I'm just shocked folks are taking this seriously. I mean… a puppet. It was in fact, a puppet.
[16:05] jasoncalacanis: then again, i guess if you hear mike and i fighting it isn't pleasant.
[16:06] firstname.lastname@example.org: You were all too convincing. I think you really were Done With This Baloney when you talked to the puppet.
[16:06] email@example.com: The makeup video is cute. I'm running it with your quotes.
[16:06] jasoncalacanis: Truth = we fight like rabid dogs and neither of us have to compromise in any other parts of our business.
[16:07] jasoncalacanis: False = we would throw an amazing event like this out the window.
(Top pic: Andrew Mager)