TechCrunch50 start-up show canceled

Show co-founders Michael Arrington and Jason Calacanis announce they have parted ways and report the demise of the annual tech start-up conference.

Michael Arrington, TechCrunch50's co-founder, in 2008 when he said 'Demo needs to die.' Dan Farber/CNET

TechCrunch50 has run its course after three years--a mere two years after one of its founders said a rival conference needed to "die."

Michael Arrington and Jason Calacanis, co-founders of the annual tech start-up conference, announced the show's cancellation and the end of their partnership in separate blog posts Tuesday.

"We have parted ways with our long time TechCrunch50 business partner, Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis," Arrington wrote in a blog post. "Sometimes, having more than one bull in the china shop can get a little messy."

Arrington said he was "pleased to announce" that his TechCrunch Disrupt later this month would be "Calacanis-Free." However, Arrington then said that Calacanis had been added to the speaker list and would appear at the show as an expert panelist, adding that Calacanis would be buying two tickets to the event and would distribute them to two random readers of his blog.

Meanwhile, Calacanis wrote on his blog that there were "no hard feelings" between the two and that the split was the result of "different vision" and disagreement over how to divide the show's "not insignificant profits."

"Mike is doing TechCrunch Disrupt--his spin on TechCrunch50--in New York City later this month, and I will be continuing my plain vanilla vision of TechCrunch50 at a new event called simply Launch (or "The Launch Conference" if you like) in early 2011 (date will be announced shortly)," he wrote in post punctuated by parenthetical tear drops. "I will be speaking at his Disrupt conference later this month, and he will be speaking [at] and covering mine."

This year's TechCrunch50 conference, which was scheduled for September 13 to 15, had once again been on a calendar collision course with rival start-up conference Demo. The verbal sparring between the shows had been particularly fierce over the years.

After IDG and VentureBeat, which partner to produce Demo, announced their September dates, Calacanis announced in January on Twitter: "TechCrunch50 is September 13th-15th, save the dates....and yes, it appears DEMO has once again moved their event to our dates. ugh."

In announcing the scheduling of the September 2008 TechCrunch50 conference, which also coincided with the Demo event that year, Arrington told my colleague Daniel Terdiman that " Demo needs to die ."

As of this writing, Demo is still officially scheduled to run in September. Chris Shipley, Demo's former executive producer who often traded barbs over the scheduling, declined to comment on TechCrunch50's cancellation.

Updated May 12 at 12:20 p.m. PDT to correct Chris Shipley's status with Demo. She is the former executive producer.

 

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