NYT just bought two of the most useful review sites on the internet for 30 Million dollars, and it’s amazing.
Matt Haugley said most of everything I want to say about this here, but let me tell you why I think this is really cool.
These sites solve a real problem in the best way. The problem being finding an answer to the question “What’s the best _____ to buy?”, and the best way being by just telling you which thing is best right away, backed up by an in depth writeup of how they decided that.
Most review sites will dive deep and dish out all the data of all the different choices, sandwiching advertising between sections for profit, and in the end not even give you a definitive answer leaving you to piece together all the data to form a conclusion.
The former experience is far superior.
Even more amazing, both of these sites were created by one guy in Honolulu, neither site is ad-supported (!!), and he didn’t take any VC funding!
As Matt said in his blog post:
I imagine every step of the development of the Wirecutter/Sweethome was about people laughing at Brian.
You can’t build a tech site that doesn’t publish 20 times a day. You can’t build a content site that isn’t covered with advertising. You can’t build an entire business on Amazon affiliate revenue. You can’t take on Consumer Reports and expect to get any traction. You can’t pay for this level of in-depth reporting. Ok, great, you built this, but why would anyone ever come back?
Ignore the haters and do it anyway. Amazing work, Brian Lam.
This was a really good interview with Brian about the sites, before it was purchased.