Michael Arrington is the founder of TechCrunch, a leading “tech blog”. This morning, he wrote “Some Things Need To Change”, in which he describes being at the DLD Conference in Munich, Germany and having someone approach him, spit on him and walk away in a crowd of people.
Michael: Yesterday as I was leaving the DLD Conference in Munich, Germany someone walked up to me and quite deliberately spat in my face. Before I even understood what was happening, he veered off into the crowd, just another dark head in a dark suit. People around me stared, then looked away and continued their conversation.
* Normally, I wouldn’t Ambulance-Chase something like this, but comments were turned off on the actual post, so I’m writing about it here.
Of course, there’s lots of speculation about WHY this occurred. Most of the blogs I’ve read so far label the guy (I assume, being that it was a tech conference, and as far as I can tell from the pics from these things, females are few and far between) as someone who was upset with TechCrunch’s coverage or LACK OF COVERAGE of their startup. Of course, we’ll never know ANYTHING about the perp until someone takes responsibility for spitting on him.
I think we can safely assume that the guy knew who he was spitting on, assuming this happened inside the conference and not outside. According to this post, Arrington is 6’4″ (six feet, four inches tall), so he must be pretty easy to spot in a crowd.
Michael: “Yesterday I was battling the flu, jetlag and little sleep, and had been battered for three days straight with product pitches from entrepreneurs desperate for press. The event was over and I was on my way back to my hotel. The last thing I wanted was another product pitch as I hurried to the car that would drive me to Davos for the next event. So when I saw this person approach me out of the corner of my eye, I turned away slightly and avoided eye contact. Sometimes that works. But in this case all it did was make me vulnerable to the last thing I expected.”
So, again, we can assume this was a guy, because it wasn’t stated otherwise. We can assume he knew who he was spitting on and we can assume that he wasn’t concerned about consequences & repercussions, because he apparently blended in with the crowd instead of running away. One person running would have been easy to spot.
I think these points indicate arrogant behavior, so I wouldn’t be surprised if someone stepped forward to take responsibility for this within the next couple of days before it all blows over on Google Blog Search.
I also find this to be an extremely bold move because I would assume that a conference like that would have lots of Social Media people there with cameras snapping and video cameras rolling. What are the odds that NOBODY caught this on tape? Also, the crowd appeared to be observant, yet disinterested. It seems like nobody pointed out the perp as he calmly walked away. I don’t know “how they do” in Munich, so it may be a common practice for people to spit on each other, so, to them, it was no big deal.
On top of that, you have to wonder what made the perp think he was going to get away with this scot-free. It doesn’t sound like a good plan to walk up to a guy who’s 6’4″ and spit in his face. It’s an ESPECIALLY BAD PLAN when that guy’s in a crowd and you don’t know who he’s with. So, it seems to me that whomever did this won’t be able to contain themselves and should be blabbing to their friends soon enough… Either that, or maybe someone DID catch it on tape…….