I was much taken with the promise of digital and the demise of print in 2008, and decided to start my own men's digital-only brand. Here was the idea: Produce good but cheap daily content across a number of verticals, give guys an easy slider interface letting them customize their feeds, and use that information to sell higher-CPM tuned sponsorship. I raised half a million dollars, developed that website, and began publishing daily content across a number of verticals.
Low overhead (all freelance help, no office), and promising talks with Kia and Burger King for sponsorship. Everything was coming up roses heading into our second round of funding. We had a launch party at Arena in NYC on September 17th, 2008 with Olivia Munn, Saturday Night Live's Kenan Thompson, Hollywood Life's Bonnie Fuller, and many others. Two days earlier, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy—the beginning of the bottom falling out of the economy. My second raise was a bust, advertisers all pulled back in fear, and I could make no progress. I limped along for another three or four months before shutting the operation down. A great learning experience, for me and I suppose for my angel investors. (Sorry, Mom.) But we do have some wonderful memories.