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The Hustle Fri, Dec 2

AngelList snatches up Product Hunt for $20m

AngelList, a place where people discover startups (and vice versa), has acquired Product Hunt, a place where people discover products (and vice versa).

According to sources, AngelList is paying around $20m for the honors, which is roughly the same valuation Product Hunt had when it raised $6m back in 2014.

Did PH (short for Product Hunt, get with it) really need to sell?

No. In fact, founder Ryan Hoover has been trying to raise a new round of financing (rumored to be in the $7-$9m range) for several months.

But at the end of the day, an AngelList acquisition was “just the better option,” Hoover said.

2 main reasons why:

  • PH doesn’t have a real revenue stream and needs help turning itself into an actual business. AngelList can help with that more than an infusion of cash.

  • Many of PH’s money-making ideas, like connecting users with job openings, are things AngelList already does.

Why this makes sense for AngelList

In addition to helping founders raise money and recruit talent, AngelList can now help them launch products and find early adopters, too.

As CEO Naval Ravikant puts it, “[Product Hunt] dovetails very nicely into our mission of helping founders. With this acquisition, we become the network for technology companies.”

THE network for technology companies, huh? Bold claim, Naval. However, the man’s got a point.

Whether you’re a job-seeker, an investor, an entrepreneur, or a gadget nerd, AngelList is for you.

And for startups, it's becoming a place to raise funds, hire talent, and now communicate and engage with customers. What else do you even need?

Oh, also Product Hunt was homeless… and now they aren’t.

So that’s good.

Apparently, the entire Product Hunt team was working from home thanks to a “San Francisco office lease headache” (fess up, Ryan, your dog ate the check).

Good news is they’ll be moving into AngelList HQ, where Hoover will remain CEO and run the company independently in the same way Instagram still runs its platform, despite being owned by Facebook.


5 reasons why Elite Daily failed!

Actually let’s just talk about 2: titles like the one above and the sh*tty content that typically follows.

Shockingly, people got sick of Elite Daily’s charade and as a result, Daily Mail is posting a $31m loss just two years after acquiring the clickbait factory.

According to DMGT, the publishing company behind Daily Mail, while Elite Daily’s revenue is still growing, the site is losing money even faster.

Not a good look for a company that claims to be “the voice of generation Y.” So why haven’t they lived up to the hype?

Fool us once…

Alright, they might’ve gotten us one time with, “This Badass Giraffe Has No Time For A Lion Attack.” Shame on you, Elite Daily.

Unfortunately, their attention-seeking headlines aren’t fooling anyone twice.

It’s reader retention rates are abysmal, meaning they have to rely almost entirely on new user acquisition to turn a profit.

This isn’t exactly a sustainable business model for a content company, especially since Facebook changed its algorithm back in July to favor user-generated posts (and will surely change it again soon).

There’s a lesson here, kids…

Don’t put all of your clickbait in one basket.

The internet is fluid and if you build a company around a single social media channel, prepare to get hosed. Especially if your articles have headlines like, “Which Famous Serial Killer You Would Be, Based On Your Zodiac Sign.

Congrats Elite Daily, everyone in the room is now dumber for having read that. You are awarded no points and may God have mercy on your soul.


Reddit vs. trolls: the battle rages on

Earlier this week, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman was caught editing comments by users that were insulting him on r/The_Donald, a subreddit dedicated to promoting Donald Trump.

Considering Reddit employees, as a rule, never modify comments unless they contain illegal content, Huffman’s actions sparked quite the outrage.

They also sparked change…

In addition to issuing a lengthy apology for his actions (“I f*cked up. I ruined Thanksgiving. I am sorry for compromising the trust you all have in Reddit.”), Huffman also made a promise:

This aggression will not stand, man.

In a huge departure from its historically “hands off” approach to moderation, Reddit will now begin cracking down on its most abusive members.

“We have identified hundreds of the most toxic users and are taking action against them, ranging from warnings to timeouts to permanent bans,” he wrote.

Hey Ellen Pao, how do you feel about all this?

Pao, who left her job as Reddit’s CEO in 2015, was the victim of abuse (both racist and sexist) on the platform throughout her tenure. But she never edited comments.

As one user pointed out to Huffman, “Despite all the hate she got she didn’t stoop this low.”

Huffman responded (in a pretty condescending way, we might add): “Ellen wasn’t the first Reddit engineer, so she probably lacked the expertise to do it, and even if she did, was smart enough to not.”

To which Pao, who is still a Reddit user, replied (in a pretty boss way, we might add): “Yeah, there’s no comparison. I would have immediately fired anyone who did that.”


Glossier cashes in on social currency

Makeup brand Glossier, pronounced glossy-yay (you’re welcome), is expecting 600% sales growth this year on top of multi-million dollar reported revenues in their first year of operation.

Even more impressive is their hyper-engaged fan base, which has elevated Glossier to cult status among more established brands. So how did they manage to break into the crowded cosmetic space?

Hint: It’s not by infusing their makeup with “himalayan spring water,” or harassing people in department stores.

Lost in the gloss

Using her social followers, founder Emily Weiss has essentially launched a “media company with a merchandising arm.”

And the company’s social currency has a real-world payoff; Weiss credits the 1m+ monthly readers of her beauty blog, Into The Gloss, with helping her raise funds for Glossier’s $24m series B this summer.

The genius of this model is that each side supports the other. Since launching in 2014, the blog’s readership has grown by 40%, while Glossier has gained nearly 150k Instagram followers (now at 337,000). But, unlike Elite Daily, Glossier refuses to be a one-channel brand.

For example, they’re finding new ways to connect directly with their user base through company-provided regional Slack groups as an instant focus group for almost no resources.

Because millennials don’t need money, apparently

They just want to be heard. That’s why Glossier also bases its referral program on exposure, rather than discounts.

By re-posting selfies from actual users and giving select ambassadors their own personal product pages, Glossier gives fans access to the one thing they want more than perfect skin: followers.

Apparently, they’re worth more than actual dollars these days. I mean like, who uses paper money anymore, right?

friday shower thoughts
  1. Fire trucks are actually water trucks.
  2. Building a treehouse is horrible. It's like killing a person and then nailing him to his best friend.
  3. If you type a website's url in caps locks it should be a more extreme version of the same website.
  4. I refuse to spend $0.99 on an app on my phone, but I don’t think twice about adding guac to my burrito for $1.50.
  5. Pickup artists” and “garbage men” should switch job titles.
  6. via Reddit
This edition of The Hustle was brought to you by
Kendall "Extra guac, please" Baker
Lindsey Quinn
John Havel
Oliver Twist
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