It's just unbelievable how in the startup world it takes a decade to make a brand that anyone gives a sh-- about. And by the way, it was for a specific kind of guy. Lerer: One, insecurity, the great motivator. You then go back and go, "OK, we've got to get this media business back on track, and then you turn back and look at your retail business six months later and go, 'That's not growing as fast as it was.'" Izzie Naylor’s net worth.
Shontell: Great. It's fortunate he did, because actually, if you think about New York 11 years ago, there was no startup ecosystem, so nobody graduated class of 2003 Penn with me and decided to go and launch a tech company or a media company. Shontell: It's true — but you've been at this for a long time and you are from a family of founders. Disclosure: Ken Lerer is an investor in Business Insider through Lerer Ventures. Online estimates of Izzie Naylor’s net worth vary. So that was the impetus for Thrillist, and we started it with really pathetically humble beginnings, and the media landscape evolved around us. So some would look at that and be, like, "OK, this is time to get out. Shontell: So who were the poor recipients of this first sad little email? We worshipped DailyCandy and thought that they were this behemoth. He gives me the best advice ever.
Shontell: They were all media.
Lerer: And so we started investing and that was an amazing vintage of New York companies. All Rights Reserved. 1. as well as other partner offers and accept our. One of them is —. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation. I didn't know what their business looked like, but I knew that it was clearly growing and they had been out and raising money and Bob Pittman had funded them. I mean, it was as pathetic as it gets, so we hired whatever the cheapest email-newsletter-delivery thing is, and for $29 a month, which was like, "How dare they charge so much money for the service?!"
He recently sold a minority stake to Axel Springer (the parent company of Business Insider) for $54 million. Lerer: We brought it in and we started growing two businesses at once: a media business and a commerce business.
So what was the first iteration of Thrillist? You guys will build digital and we're going to do what we do great and we'll find ways to partner in a thousand different ways, but Seeker will be part of the Group Nine family and so Seeker is our fourth brand.". And girls I knew were reading DailyCandy, and I felt like there should be something for people like me. You could have just sat back and been like a sloppy college kid forever, but you're not that person and you built this huge media company that you want to become even bigger, so you're working your butt off. So if Bob's fund wasn't there to give us $250,000 in the seed check, I don't know what we would have done, and I sort of had a "I'm not taking money from my dad" thing. Your friends want to go and do tech startups suddenly. Lerer: Like Axel. And how did you start getting that initial traction? n fact, the leadership of the newsroom is split between one journalist and one social media person. The article ended up reaching 7 million people. The audience was great quality, but it was an email newsletter. At that time, he said something to me that was really important, that was a big driving factor, where he said, "Look at what's happening in media, look at the changes that are going on.
For now, thanks to the $11.5 million investment, Lerer's team can continue to focus on building distribution. I didn't have a vision for what the future of this would look like, and we did an OK job treating every dollar like it was our last and, over what in today's startup world is an unacceptably long period of time, built a brand. How I Did It," here: Subscribe to "Success! Shontell: So a couple of personal questions to wrap this all up. I was running outside and I was having a call with Fred and I was telling him about this idea and he said, basically, "Don't quit your day job." All these platforms are trying to build the mobile version of television, and there's a really good reason for it because there's upwards of $70 billion in the US TV market that they would all like to have, and so we're building on the backs of the pipes, and the pipes want video because people want video, and because the business is in video, and so we're building the future of TV networks — and that's video.
And actually this was within the same month that they bought BI.
She also grew up with dogs and is an avid horseback rider. Are you all video content now?
Let's be all in with you guys while we make a big investment, let's also contribute our digital footprint, and we're not going to try to compete with you. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Discovery Communications. Lerer: Six hundred people, who were everyone in my contact list. So what can I say?
Another pivotal moment for the company came in January 2015, when The Dodo hired its first video producer. And I'm, like, "I know those dudes. Lerer: Rude! Shontell: Right: So you found this company, JackThreads, and they were a clothing company and you bought them. Getty/Jemal Countess.
Capitalizing on the Internet's love of animal gifs and videos, Lerer founded the Dodo in early 2014.
What is your life and how do you make the most of it?
S. ites like LolCats, Buzzfeed, Barkpost, and Little Things all generated tens of millions of monthly pageviews by posting photos of cute animals online and watching them spread across Facebook and Pinterest. The one thing she knows is she bought the domain name, thedodo.com, while sitting at the dinner table surrounded by all of them. Regardless of whether it was this super-thoughtful, sophisticated whatever brand, it was a brand. she says. And so we grew Thrillist really nicely, and then all the while had this idea that there were changes happening in media that were big and exciting. Lots of shared learning, shared insights, shared technology, shared go-to-market from an advertising perspective. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation. I remember that first year where we put local businesses on the map, legitimately, where we went in and we covered something and it became one of those places where there's a line around the corner and the line doesn't stop and we got a reputation for being good at picking winners and presenting it in a light that was just different.
That's because advertisers are now shifting their budgets away from TV (where they've traditionally spent the most money) and into digital with pre- and post-roll placements. Shontell: So you're creating content for platforms like Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat and you're pumping it out to them and you're letting them be the distribution. Lerer cofounded Thrillist in 2006.
Animal content, Lerer noticed, also happened to be inherently viral. It was hard to say, "Well, where does this thing go?"
So we did that and put our head down on Thrillist and just focused and grew like a weed, and it was like that reminder of, we're good at this business, if we pay attention and if we don't lose sight of the fundamentals of what we're trying to build. But from a monetization standpoint, it's something The Dodo and many other digital publishers will need to figure out. Shontell: Right, and so now raising money in media-land, it's a lot easier, but back then it was really tough to raise money for anyone, let alone a guy who maybe didn't have a vision, who was trying to start a newsletter company. The LHV backstory? Lerer: The first newsletter we sent was about a restaurant that is no longer with us, called El Rey Del Sol, which was on 14th Street. That ultimately turned into Group Nine, a merger of four brands: Thrillist, The Dodo, video news network NowThis, and Discovery's science site, Seeker. And actually we were supposed to have launched several weeks prior but the day we were going to launch, we realized that we had not considered the mechanism for actually sending the email.
Lerer: Yeah, I mean a consumer opportunity. Isabel "Izzie" Lerer, founder and CEO of The Dodo, cares a lot about animals. You build the team, you build the culture, it's all your people and we're, like, "This is going to be hard," and it was.
Shontell: And he's now the head of I Heart Media. And that was when he said: "You know all the kids are starting companies, and I bet I could raise a little bit of money for us from my friends. Like, I know that there had been rumors of acquisition talk along the years at Thrillist. How did you decide, "OK, we're going to take NowThis, The Dodo, have them all agree to join," and then come up with this structure where you're suddenly king? Her family knows a thing or two about building media companies. This is before it exits, though, you see an opportunity.
Don't worry — not too personal.
The majority of the of . Advertisers pay higher CPMs (cost per thousand views) for video placements online than for banner ads. Lerer: We have websites.
Shontell: Those are people coming to your websites to check it out.
Earlier this year he huddled with his father, Huffington Post cofounder Ken Lerer, and sister, The Dodo founder Izzie Lerer, to talk about a crazy idea they code-named "Project Family."
Remember we met in 2008? You have your buy-in. "Izzie's vision was nothing short of wanting to change the world in the way animals are treated.
It was in the press that we spent a bunch of time with Viacom.
In January 2014, Lerer launched her site. And I honestly saw it as just a learning experience.
Soon, The Dodo's site exploded with readers. Like, not you personally, but in general. The Dodo published an article titled, "Recently Spotted 103-Year-Old Is Bad News For Sea World."
Everyone wanted to go to Wall Street, everyone wanted to go to consulting, everyone wanted to go to business school, or everyone wanted to go to law school. I remember being almost your exact age, in 1982, and seeing consolidations start to come to cable, and I didn't have a front-row seat. One thing that you guys figured out and that you tried was a lot of people were pairing commerce and content.
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