Corner Office: Engineering Results
PE: What do you want to provide for your readers?
TM: A solid, awesome experience. We like to get out of the gate and then build from there. We like to learn through increments. We publish a first version—the Silicon Valley model of test and learn. The nice thing about digital publishing is you can try things and get feedback very quickly from your audience. Because that data is readily available it's easier to test and learn than the world of print, where it's difficult to know what's keeping people's attention and market research is not as accurate as direct measurement. A test & learn culture can really thrive in digital publishing.
PE: What does the future hold?
TM: Print is not in our business plan today. We think about it and we like to study and follow the trends in print. I believe print will have a home and lots of times people prefer and enjoy print, but I don't think it's driving growth in the market. It's not core or central to what we do. We define ourselves as a digital publisher.
We're doing a redesign of our website. One of the things driving the decision to acquire Lonny was to move it onto Livingly's platform so we'd get leverage out of that new technology. Soon we will have it on Livingly's technology stack and give readers access to archives, etc.
Our long-term growth strategy is to have five to seven properties over time (we currently have three). It could be from scratch or acquisition. We're studying which pathways we want to enter. Lonny was our first acquisition as a company and it's going very well but acquisition can accelerate you into a market and there can be problems as well. There are pros and cons.