Jason Calacanis, the CEO of Mahalo, is planning some direct competition to Michael Arrington's technology blog empire, TechCrunch, according to a report today from the Guardian. According to the report, Calacanis is developing a property called Launch, which will focus on deep analysis of companies. Calacanis has reportedly set the launch of his new site, Launch--as well as an associated, TechCrunch50-like event--for February. In an email to subscribers of his personal mailing list earlier this week, Calacanis said the event will be held in San Francisco on February 23rd and 24th. Calacanis also previewed a review of a startup, Zoombu, in his email, complaining that "journalists don't have the time to profile companies any more, and bloggers either don't understand how these business work (at least not on a deep level)".
The new publication would not be a stretch for Calacanis--who, like Arrington, made his own fortune by selling his last company, blog network Weblogs, Inc. to AOL. AOL was the buyer of TechCrunch. Calacanis has a wealth of experience in the content world, having run technology publication Silicon Alley Reporter, which essentially profiled and tracked technology firms in New York similar to how TechCrunch has for Web 2.0 startups, and Calacanis has increasingly directed Mahalo along the path of editorial content. Calacanis also produced and helped to create the TechCrunch 50 event along with Arrington, until the two had a highly visible split last year.