Henry Blodget, the former Wall Street analyst who started Business Insider, discusses the web site’s founding and strategy on Riptide, an oral history of the collision between journalism and technology that began in the 1990s.
Here is an excerpt:
John: Would you mind just walking us through your business model? What it was when you started? Where it’s come in six years? How you think it can grow and what it could become?
Henry: Sure. When we started, we where three people in a loading dock. We started publishing. We said, “What do our readers like?” We published more of what they like. We published less of what they didn’t like. We knew relatively early that we were going to have to be supported by advertising. That was the goal, so we continued to build with that. We initially partnered with a third party reseller of advertising. We were part of their network, which is a model that works very effectively online. That helped us grow for the first three years at a very nice rate.
About three years in, we realized to get to the scale we wanted to get to, we had to build our own sales force.
John: What was the percentage of…It was mostly original, right?
Henry: Almost everything that we produce, up until relatively recently, has been original.