Hackaday looking for a good home

hackaday

Below is a statement from [Jason Calacanis], the owner of hackaday ———————-

HackADay.com, an awesome maker community, is looking for a new home
——–

tl;dr: HackADay is a passionate community of hackers doing awesome stuff. It deserves more attention than I can give it right now, as I’m ultra-focused on the launch of Inside.com. So, we’re looking for a caring new owner with a stellar track record of not f@#$ing up brands to take it over.

——–

We created HackADay back in 2004 because one of Engadget’s awesome bloggers, Phil Torrone, wanted to do super-geeky projects every day and the Engadget audience wasn’t exactly into that frequency.

In a phone call with PT I said, “So you want to do a hack a day?”

He was like, “Yeah, a hack a day.”

And I was like, “OK, let’s do hackaday.com.”

When we sold Weblogs Inc. to AOL, we took HackADay out of the deal because it was doing stuff that a corporate parent’s legal arm might not feel comfortable with (e.g., hacking cable boxes!).

So, I bought it and kept it safe and warm inside of Mahalo.com for the past couple of years. However, since I’m super focused on the Inside.com launch, I need to find a new home for it.

It’s doing over $14k a month in advertising without a sales force (just AdSense mainly), and it’s got an amazing stable of bloggers. Given its 6m pageviews a month and with an advertising sales force doing a modest $15 RPM, Hackaday could do $90k a month.

We’ve got 5,674 members of our email list after just five months (should have started it 10 years ago, would have been at 100k+ by now!).

We’ve started doing some epic videos on YouTube. Collectively the videos have over 5m views and 31k subscribers: www.youtube.com/hackaday

This awesome video broke 1m views: http://youtu.be/LZkApleQQpk

Our Twitter handle has 29k followers.

We’re hoping someone like Maker, DemandMedia, InternetBrands, AOL (without Time Warner involved!), Gawker or another publisher can carry on this awesome, profitable and limitless brand.

If you’re interested, send a note to jason@inside.com.

Also, HackADay is looking for a new editor-in-chief. Please send sample projects, posts and whatever else you got to neweditor@hackaday.com.

Thanks for allowing me this and for your help with any new home ideas.

best @jason

Comments

  1. Not a Hack… c’mon, 100’s of comments and nobody’s said that yet!

    Unless this sale goes to the best person/entity capable of carrying on the main benefit of HAD (sharing hacks), I see a slow, pitious spiral into the nefarious commercial abyss in the future. With the price of admission ball-parked at 500K-1M, welcome to the abyss!

  2. Eatith Mee says:

    OH! HAD stands for Hack A Day!??? I though it stood for “Have Arduino – Derp”… My bad, How could anyone make the shameless ardunio plugs while ignoring pretty much well all other micros out there any worse!?

  3. kieldanger says:

    Checking out projects on hackaday multiple times a day has become routine. So many great projects and ideas in one place, and a great community too. Like others have said, maybe theres a kickstarter or a community option to keep the site the same great place that we’ve all come to love.

  4. professorK says:

    Like so many have said, please please please don’t sell to gawker.
    I have been reading for a long time, it’s probably the longest blog/website I have visited almost every day.

    Hackaday is the number one reason I started playing with electronics, it both showed me how damn simple some things are, and how what I had assumed was impossible is totally possible.

    The site has gone through so many changes over the years, some I like others I didn’t but got over. I won’t get over gawker, I will just stop reading.

    Maybe people like me are a loud minority, have a vote. Go the crowd source route, I’ll gladly vote with dollars.

  5. cplamb says:

    What the heck is “inside.com”? The website itself give little clue.

  6. nicholas says:

    ifixit should be involved!

  7. Ben says:

    Not a hack… :)

    All the best to Caleb in his future endeavours, and, assuming a buyer comes forward, to Jason with the mysterious inside.com.

    It’s sad that you guys found other stuff that piqued your interest before we got tired of reading your stuff, but hey, that’s life! One of us eventually has to lose out in this equation, right?

    All power to you for chasing after what makes you happy. Looking forward to seeing what Brian and Mike will fill the void with.

  8. maq says:

    hmm, too bad, slashdot & hackaday, these are my (only) daily sites

  9. Robert says:

    Hey, it’s my first post here. I’ve been a long-time reader and HaD is set as my browser homepage.
    I’ll be really honest here, I’m afraid as hell of change. I like this site just the way it is with the faintest residue ow the old internet wild-west, where censorship is minimal and not every post is about making lights blink.

    I’ll admin, i’d be sad to see HaD taken over by corporates – or any other company that do this for all the wrong reasons (revenue at all cost).

    Well, I’ll stick around to see how it goes.

  10. satovey says:

    Why not hire someone to take over the management of the site?

    Not only would this allow you to stay focused on the inside.com launch, you would be able to intervene when necessary and maintain the quality and vision of hackaday.com.

    Having multiple revenue streams makes for a secure future and successful future.

    Take care.
    Scott

  11. Ariel Tas says:

    If Gawker buys the site could you put in a clause in that says they can’t switch the site into their god awful site formatting.

  12. Rob says:

    Sad to see it change ownership, I have been reading this site since it first started getting popular when i was in college going for my engineering degree, I hope someone can carry on with it. Or if you need someone to run it for you and feel like taking a chance with someone lemme know as its not something i would like to see go away ;)

  13. I am interested in buying some equity in the website.

  14. ragtek says:

    We’re hoping someone like InternetBrands, AOL

    this must be a joke?!

  15. roofuskit says:

    If you sell to Gawker I’ll hate you till the end of my days.

  16. ws says:

    People here are freaking out about the new buyer f-ing up Hackaday, but what they don’t realize is that Jason has been trying to neuter it for years. Hackaday doesn’t make enough money for him, so he’s been trying to turn it into Lifehacker to get more traffic. That’s why his editors keep quitting; they actually have integrity.

    You think Arduino posts are bad, how would you like to have to scroll past 50 “life hacks” every day? That’s what Jason wanted for this site.

    The sooner we can take the site out of his hands, the better.

    • I believe logan’s plan is to take the website and to continue all of the traditions by keeping the look and everything of the site the same. I think he is considering increasing the payment for the articles that are published.

  17. Dick Swellington says:

    HaD coin

  18. Logan says:

    Hopefully there are some lurkers around!

    I’m currently writing up the Indiegogo stuff to launch a campaign. Target is $500k with flexible funding. What kind of perks would you all want? Understand that, given the nature of this campaign, the cost of the perk tier must exceed the cost of the perk item or it is actually a drain on the campaign.

    • Logan says:

      I lied, I’m changing the target to $300k as Jason has expressed support for offers such as $250k + revenue sharing. Consider it a ‘stretch goal’ to purchase it outright.

    • I would like to be able to buy equity in the website so I make revenue so if I put $5k in and we valued it at $500K then I would get 1% of the ad revenue profits which at the current rate is $140 a month, however if we up the advertising then you would have more revenue. You should also make it so if anyone donates an amount higher than $1 then they get a vote is saying who will be editor in chief. If there are other things that you want to leave up to a vote then that can be done too.

      • What is the current server specs for the server and what is the load? How many uniques and how many page views are there?

      • Logan says:

        That will not be a perk for the campaign. I’d rather not confuse donation logistics with equity purchases. Anyone who wishes to purchase equity may e-mail me directly at logan.neal.collins gmail.com.

        The editor voting is a good idea. I had intended to see if Caleb would stay on and, if not, I would run the site myself until a suitable replacement could be found. Or, voted on, as the case may be. I may raise the bar a little bit to $5 or $10. Realistically, if we’re going to reach the goal, most donations need to be above that amount anyway.

        • Ok that’s fine. I’ll email you soon about possibly purchasing equity.

          For the editor voting I agree the need for it to be a higher amount. We might also want to consider higher a person short term to really optimize the adsense so that we can pull a little more money out.

          • Logan says:

            I have a highschool friend of mine who currently runs a company that optimizes these things. I will contact him and see what we can do. I should note that I will be involved at every step and I personally guarantee that I won’t go overboard with optimizations. Any optimizations that sacrifice this site’s ability to serve the community will be considered extremely cautiously if not declined outright. I plan on being cautious about all this because, as a user, thats what I would want.

        • Ok cool, He should know that he will definitely not go unpaid, especially if he double or triples the earnings.

  19. For the hosting we could get media temple’s VPS hosting, http://mediatemple.net/webhosting/vps/developer/ and cloudflare’s bussiness plan, https://www.cloudflare.com/plans . This will allow us to be able to scale up the server without any large downtime. And cloudflare’s railgun caches the uncachable wordpress site. Cloudflare also would allow us to take a HUGE spike of traffic like national tv.

  20. Logan says:

    An Indiegogo has been posted and is live at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/crowdfund-hack-a-day-com.

    Please forgive any perceived crudeness. I will be adding a video and more details when it’s not 4am. I just wanted to get this posted quickly because Jason is moving forward with the sale rather quickly and I wanted the community to have an opportunity to show it’s viability before offers were closed.

    • So who is exactly is going to get all the money? Say we raise $500k and this $500k is just made up of lots of $100-$1000 donations, then a few people bought a little bit of equity. So then you logan would end up with the $14k – equity holders share’s. What would you do with the other $10k every month? Do you have any plans to put it back into the community?

      • Logan says:

        Absolutely! Some of that is actually mentioned on the page if you look down at the ‘Why help?’ section.

        The biggest ideas I have now (and I’m open to more suggestions) is helping fund hackerspaces and facilitating component discounts. Here is a quote from the page about an example of how the latter might work:

        “Let me give an example. Say, in the future, that HaD partnered with Adafruit to resell Arduino components (please, no groaning). Specifically, say we offer this Servo Shield [link]. It retails for ~$20 but on the HaD store there would be a limited amount (say, 100) on sale for $10. HaD would cover the missing $10 for the purchase.”

        Initially, I will not be keeping any profit for myself. It will all be going back into the site to get it to a place I’m comfortable with. After we’ve hit a good stride, I may then allow myself some of the profit. (This obviously will not apply to anyone who purchases equity)

        • That’s a good idea, We could also sell Hackaday apparel, (hats, t-shirts, etc.). I can also see hackaday doing large contributions to other crowdfunding projects. And usually when you do large contributions to those products you get A LOT of that product in which we can sell on the website. So basically I think the truth here is that hackaday will eventually get an estore.

          • Logan says:

            I’ve thought about apparel, yes. Though I would want feedback from the community first. The contributing to other projects is a good idea too!

            And yes, it is likely.

        • satovey says:

          >>>>
          It retails for ~$20 but on the HaD store there would be a limited amount (say, 100) on sale for $10. HaD would cover the missing $10 for the purchase
          >>>>

          Sounds like a plan to go out of business.
          If however, you can purchase products at a sizable bulk rate to make a profit on that $10.00 sale, then yeah, I say go for it. But don’t put the cart before the horse.

          • Logan says:

            No, you misunderstand the purpose of the idea. HaD can make it’s revenue through advertising (and maybe apparel). The purpose of this is to give a little bit of that revenue BACK to the community in terms of discounts on products. It’s as if we’re subsidizing the purchase of certain items, not actually being a retailer. Does that make sense?

          • We will have to be careful with this because say we bought a bunch of raspberry pi’s and then we sold them a slight bit under cost then you could have some idiot buy 10 of them and practically double their money selling them on eBay. A way to go against this is by limiting the amount per household. That way we don’t go broke.

          • Logan says:

            Correct. I didn’t want to bog down the discussion on small details.

  21. gijsnoorlander says:

    Maybe not what you stated you wanted to do, but why not hire someone to do the postings?
    Then you’re still in charge and can decide on the direction of HAD, but still have a lot of extra time on your hands.
    I would be glad to have such a (part-time) job and I think a lot of regulars here would love to do the same.
    With about half a dozen writers, spread around the world, you’ll have a steady flow of posts each day.

  22. Viper-7 says:

    What the hell? $14k a month not enough for you?
    The community and the editors built this site, not you Jason you greedy fuck.
    Give it back to the editors, or set it up with enough distributed hosting to last forever, remove all advertising and walk away.

    This is not a commercial site. Disgusted at the sale.

  23. Viper-7 says:

    Croudsourcing Jason Calacanis’s bank account..

  24. Jim says:

    I have been coming to HAD since the beginning. I love the site. It’s one of my (check a few times a day) sites. I have about 10 total sites I am bouncing around to all day and HaD is one of them…I hope we can keep it up. I know it’s not easy managing a ton of web projects though especially the big ones you are dealing with. Good luck and thanks for time we have had on HaD I hope it can continue.

  25. Ben Dover says:

    Thank you adblock plus!

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