The BackList

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

If this ain't motivational... is hands-down one of my favorite sites. I also think it's a great example of a profitable online and offline business model. Anywho, the founder Laurel Touby recently sold the site to Junipermedia for 23 million! Yes that's right 23 million. And 20 of it was paid in cash.

Here's part of the letter she posted on mediabistro:

Today is probably the happiest day of my life. (Okay, second happiest. Getting married to Jon was pretty excellent.) When I put up my first web site in 1996 -- or was it 1997? the records are gone -- it was a humble little directory on someone else's web site. Not even a site of its own. There was no hope of a business plan, much less a profitable business. The entire reason for its existence was to help media people, myself included, meet up, hook up and share resources with one another -- a social network with bare bones technology.

Fast forward through the Internet crash, 9-ll and numerous other challenges and today, we have the largest community of media pros -- from magazine editors to TV news anchors to marketing people to ad agency execs -- reading our daily news, flashing onto our blogs, posting job ads, replying to job ads, attending seminars and events and generally making merry with's many offerings.

Today, 10 years later, what started as a tiny little web site is now a full-fledged business that generates significant sales and profits, from its thriving job board, its education department (serving 15,000 students and counting!), ad sales and premium content. We have more than 1 million visitors a month, and more than 6 million page views per month.

When Jupitermedia contacted us a few months back, I couldn't think of a better company to acquire us. The companies complement each other in so many ways. Jupiter has its own job boards, It has a vast customer base of creatives and creative buyers on its network. It has a huge e-media business. And, finally, its CEO Alan Meckler, has years of experience in the conference business, an area where we are eager to grow. Which brings me to my last, but very important point. Alan Meckler is a visionary. He gets it in a way that few old media CEOs do. He pursued Yahoo!, Infoseek,, Slashdot and long before they were brand names. He owns the URL for a reason. And now, he owns us.

Welcome, Alan, to the 'bistro! We look forward to working with you. It's the beginning of a beautiful partnership. To all of you who are wondering: NO, I'm not leaving. I'm starting a new exciting chapter of my life -- as an employee. For you, who've made what it is, this won't mean any major changes. If anything, Jupitermedia's resources will only help us improve and expand our services. So, stay tuned for what's to come.


At 10:43 AM, Blogger MJ said...

Hey Felicia,

As a woman in business I was very inspired by this story. I admire Laurel tremendously for building something from nothing and for remaining true to herself and her goal. Congrats to her, she deserves every penny of her 23 million!


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