Just over a year ago, on May 15, 2012, I posted the first-ever ExitEvent News article and rolled out the News section with zero fanfare. There was no fancy marketing campaign, no money spent on advertising at all, and a very limited pool of resources for writing (me), editing (me), and site build (me).
This article you’ve got your eyes on right now is the 232nd news article published on ExitEvent News. 100% of them are original, 0% of them come from a press release.
Since that first article, ExitEvent News has seen hundreds of thousands of readers and well over a half-million reads. Not bad for a website that never spent so much as a dime on advertising.
I attribute some of ExitEvent News’ success to the contributions of some very talented writers, and some less regular writers but full-time founders like Aaron Houghton, Anil Chawla, and Elliott Hauser, among others, all of whom brought you their stories unfiltered.
The bulk of its success, however, I attribute to you.
ExitEvent itself started on a lark, and ExitEvent News started on a dare. I launched ExitEvent News last year because it needed to be done, and I wanted to prove it could be done. You guys just kept coming back and reading it, so I just kept writing it.
I’ve had fun doing this. A ton of fun. Out of the 15 minutes it usually takes me to write an article, 14 of those minutes are pure, straight-up fun. I’m weird like that.
I always figured that within the space of a year, there would be a bevy of startup-related content and service sites sprouting up to complement the handful of existing players at the time ExitEvent News launched, and the resulting competition would lead me to basically quit this little hobby before it became a job.
Turns out the opposite happened. There are actually fewer startup content and service related sites now. And there has been very little in the way of merge, they’ve just mostly disappeared or frozen. Even at the national level, ExitEvent is still one of a handful of outlets that publishes new, original startup-related content multiple times per week.
But I don’t attribute that to lack of interest in the Startup Universe — I actually think there’s more there now than when I started, and the numbers on the articles bear that out.
I also don’t think it’s because it’s so incredibly difficult to start a media company. This is 3-5 hours a week of my time, next-to-zero monthly burn, and less than zero headache factor. ExitEvent is profitable. Not quit my job profitable (I wouldn’t do that anyway, I love my startup), but I can definitely see how I could make it that way if I wanted to.
I think the difference between ExitEvent News and everything else is the lack of startup filter on what we produce. We really don’t have a lot of interest in the normal startup news cycle. We’re really not about breaking stories or exclusive content. We’re just a bunch of entrepreneurs interested in entrepreneurism.
And it shows.