Earlier this week, we reported on the apparent death of Michael Arrington’s dream, the CrunchPad. The CrunchPad was supposed to be a slick tablet, but according to an emotional blog post by Arrington the project had been more or less stolen from him by Chandrasekar “Chandra” Rathakrishnan, CEO of Fusion Garage. Rathakrishnan has announced to hold a press event Monday, telling his side of the story, as well as a brief demonstration of the actual device.
So it seems this soap opera is far from over – in fact, it only just begun. Megan Alpers, of the San Jose-based McGrath/Power Public Relations, told the San Francisco Business Times that Rathakrishnan “just wants to be able to share his side of the story and he’s going to be showing the device very briefly as well”.
All this will take place in a video call, but the device will also be demonstrated in a number of private briefings, all scheduled for coming Monday at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco. This will be the first time that the device will actually be shown to the world; so far, the CrunchPad has been nothing more than vapourware.
That didn’t stop this epic fail, though.
Now, let’s take a few steps back here for a moment. This is the internet, right? We can all agree on that, right? I believe that there’s something else we can agree on: the lifeblood of the internet is drama. Without drama, the internet would be nothing more than a glorified library. It’s drama that keeps the internet from losing steam as a tool for everyone, everyday, everywhere.
Drama doesn’t just come out of nowhere. While a lot of drama comes into existence by accident, there’s also a substantial amount that is created intentionally. I don’t know about you, but this whole CrunchPad saga reeks of intentionally created drama, just to stir up the internet, and get the drama flowing from blog to blog, from news site to news site, from tweet to retweet.
I obviously can’t be sure about this, and it would also be an epic gamble by the people behind the CrunchPad, but for some reason I find Arrington’s story wholly unbelievable. I can’t honestly believe that this business venture, which has been in the works for a very long time, would end dramatically only a few days before the final unveiling – I’m sure contracts and business deals are involved you can’t just run away from.
It’s too coincidental. In the age of the internet, creating drama ensures your product gets talked about. Arrington and Fusion Garage are not Apple – they don’t have the de facto attention of the internet. They need to jump up and down in the monkey cage to get our attention, and I have the sneaking suspicion that this whole CrunchPad saga is just that.