Hackaday Looking For A Good Home


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

195 thoughts on “Hackaday Looking For A Good Home

    1. We won’t sell it to an ahole or douche. Don’t worry. I’m actually looking for someone like Lifehacker/Gawker, Maker, Mashable, Saymedia, etc. who invest in editorial to take it over, as I’ve got too many projects to keep growing the site.

      If we don’t find a good owner I’ll just run it with 15-20 solid posts a day forever…. you have my word. I won’t fucking it up…. and we haven’t in almost 10 years.

      1. Very very very pleased to hear you want this site to carry on as it is, heck even if you had to cut down to one or two new articles a day I dare say many would be happy to still have the site alive and still active, I know I would!

        1. that would be so sweet if Make & life hacker and hack a day had some sort of partnership/ trio w/ hosting for you guys. I wish I could help somehow but I don’t have any money. I will give you half when I hit the lotto. and the piratebay will get the other half – 1 mill for myself.

          1. :D

            We may sometimes be, how shall I put it, abrasive towards certain topics/hacks but that only stems from us caring about the quality of the site, which is very high and we all want to keep it that way.

      2. “Won’t sell it to an ahole or douche”…and then you say “lifehacker/gawker networks.”

        Gawker Networks are pretty much the biggest douches on the web…

        1. Interesting. I think LifeHacker is awesome, although I will agree that Valleywag is a 100% douchetastic. Slashdot and Maker have reached out and Gawker passed (too niche)… so it’s a moot point.

          Please do send me anyone you think would make a great publisher/owner: jason AT inside.com

          1. In this case, “douche” is being used roughly to describe a person/entity as being mindless. One of urbandictionary’s definitions puts it aptly, “An individual who has an over-inflated sense of self worth, compounded by a low level of intelligence, behaving ridiculously in front of colleagues with no sense of how moronic he appears.”

            I don’t personally follow any of the blogs/entities declared as “douchey”, but after perusing through the front page of Gawker, it seems there’s very little of value, just a lot of crud I’d expect to see in trashy tabloids in the grocery store checkout aisle.

      3. If you had a good future for HaD in mind, you would have donated it to your editors.. All you care for is the money. Don’t you have enough money yet? Oh wait, I guess you don’t.

        I believe in hard work and getting paid for it.. Hell, I even believe in getting paid MORE than is eq to the work delivered.. However, I do not believe in getting rich for thesame work others get merely a minimum wage for. I hope you crash your orange automobile. Au-to-mo-bile.

        1. >>>
          However, I do not believe in getting rich for thesame work others get merely a minimum wage for.

          I infer from your statement that you do not believe in the American system of capitalism that demands lower and lower wages while charging higher and higher prices and fees for products and services respectively.

          Unfortunately, many mistake the aforementioned system of greed and destruction for the Free Enterprise System of selfless mutual prosperity.


    1. I would be open to that. It’s probably going to sell for $500k-1m given it’s revenue and potential (5-10x profits is what these things go for). So, if community program came close to that i’d certainly sell it. has anyone done that?

      1. Look at what “lets build a tesla museum” generated on a crowd fund. Chop up the $1meg-a-buck price tag, and consider everyone “shareholders”? Could exceed your asking!

        1. I would definitely buy some shares as a reader and would be much happier with a “corporate process” that allowed the existing crew to run things vs being sold to a big media outlet.

          Please allow us to buy a bit of hackaday.

      1. The other day I white listed hackaday in ad blocker but still did not see any adds. Those spots are still blank.

        Today I got to thinking about addons that block tracking so I disabled Ghostery and again refreshed the page. Guess what, the ads showed up.

        What! Google Adsense is not going to give their customers what they paid for if they can’t track you? Man, that’s not just stupid, that’s shoot the moron dead stupid.(the one who devised the stupid idea that is). I bet said moron is still working for Google Adsense.

        As you may have noticed, I have absolutely no tolerance whatsoever for stupidity.

      1. i must be one of the few that don’t run adblock… i just see, and ignore, the same ones all the time… the trashy bird with the tshirts, and the metal music, and then the so weirdly placed adwords under the banner advert (worst advert placing ever)

        but then i think that the focussed marketing that adwords brings is opposite to what adverts should be doing. seems pointless to tell be about a hammer, after ive bought one.


        1. The bellroy one is my favorite. I followed through and ended up making a duct tape version of one to try out. I like it enough that I’ll be buying the real one for christmas ($80 is a lot for a wallet)

        2. Is there a big difference, from the POV of Hackaday revenue, if a users (a) uses adblock or (b) disables adblock for hackaday but never ever clicks the ads? (Sorry if this is a stupid question – I don’t know the first thing about online ad economy)

          1. When someone sees an ad, that’s an “impression”. The ratio of clicks to impressions is important information for Google. If an ad is not getting enough clicks relative to impressions, they’ll put in a different ad. Depending on how the ad is embedded in the page, ad blocking software could prevent the ad from even being loaded and recording an impression. HAD probably isn’t paid directly for impressions, but better information leads to better ad placement, leading to more money for Google and HAD.

          2. It actually doesn’t matter if the hard core hackaday fans turn off ads (it’s not great of course), because a lot of the clicks come from folks who are coming to us from search and who are on a mission (i.e. they want to hack X and they see a link for ‘hack X easily!’ in an advertisement).

  1. AOL would ruin it. Don’t sell out to whomever bought jumped the shark, and ruined it. The archives of JTS were a gold mine of info and fun – but were deleted. :-( How Stuff Works, sold out and ruined.

    I wish I had a recording of my maternal grandmother saying ruin and ruined. I never knew why, but she pronounced them “roin” and “roined”.

    Please ensure the new owners of HaD don’t roin it!

        1. I fourth that motion. I think that a community effort or allowing someone to takeover HaD would be cool. Personally, I can’t commit any money other than hosting costs and domain costs, but if I could run HaD, I’d run it for free with no ads, and decent hosting and DNS. To pay for the costs: well I’d probably do an annual fundraiser or something. But yeah. That’s me.

          Either way though, if the unlikely scenario came up where the HaD staff didn’t mind turning it nonprofit and unpaid (they’d pretty much give away the site for free), I wouldn’t mind running it along with writing an article or two every day. And of course paying the initial hosting expenses until I could run a successful fundraiser.

          So, guys (HaD staff), if you do end up looking to just have it run as a community effort: I wouldn’t mind taking care of it all. Also, I’d pledge to never run ads because, well, ads don’t have a place on a community website. Content does.

  2. Well I am going to have to invest in some repairs, it is big and will take up space in the shop, not everyone is into websites, I don’t have guys coming in everyday to buy a website, this is an older model website and there is no paperwork, it may sit in the shop for months, I’ve gotta make a living here, I’ll give ya five bucks ;)

    Best of luck HaD :) Couldn’t resist a little fun.

  3. Too bad, I fear this is the beginning of the end, If ANY coorperation buys it, they’ll ride on the name for a while then it will turn into something as bad as instructables.
    Could you at least create a downloadable archive of HaD so we don’t have to mirror the site? PLEASE!

    1. If we don’t find a trusted owner we will just keep going as we are…. we’ve got great bloggers right now who can keep the site running. we’re not in any danger… i just want to see someone invest in it and give it more care (and get it off my books/brain power).

      i have entrepreneurial adhd, and i need to focus in on inside.com.

      but don’t worry… we won’t sell it to dork.

    2. 1st of all, mahalo is a content dump network (let’s be honest guys). if anything, it would have crushed HAD the same. So i doubt anyone would do any damange to the content much. To be honest, Kaleb doing a series of videos with arts ‘n craft stuff (even if it includes high voltage with little protection) always pisses me off but who cares. The only real danger is outlined to the post. It’s some legal team getting afraid of the ‘illegal’ hacks. but they are not that many around.

      2nd this place has very little content. HAD shines in finding new stuff. but once you were redirected to it, you subscribe to THAT source. it’s almost as a RSS reader with a bouncer. yeah, there’s the comments, but you will find the same folks at the original source the same.

  4. Well, I’m gonna join the doom-n-gloom crowd here, and see this as the beginning of the end. I do wish y’all success in whatever your off to next. But here is one person who hopes Make, etc, does not pick this up. I gravitated to HaD once Make started becoming too corporate and politically correct; the same can be said of any of the hopeful candidates listed here.

    1. I second this. If this goes all make/politically correct, I won’t even bother coming here. Through the years, this has been the only site I’ve kept coming to, and I had plans for some great projects to send in, however, if you guys screw this over, even if you think it will be the same, you’re going to lose a lot of readers.

      1. your not being very supportive here, I don’t think you understand that this move is for the greater good of the hack a day community. And if it doesn’t work. it will be reworked until it does. With a community this big of hackers, do you think it would be possible for it to fail. We are hackers, we bend technology to our will. We are geeks, we are nerds, we are the elite! IT WILL WORK!!!!!!

        So if you want to give up, go for it. But me and hundreds of thousand of other people will keep on.

        1. >>>
          With a community this big of hackers, do you think it would be possible for it to fail. >>>
          Back in the early 80’s, a valiant GM employee said to me: “General Motors will never go out of business.”
          Back then a bankrupt GM was unthinkable to the rank and file. No one could conceive of a government that would implement policies that would all but eliminate America’s manufacturing base. Yet, here we are today with a fraction of the manufacturing might that enabled the USA to shrug off the financial downturns prior to the great recession. Or should I say, the great depression II.

          We are hackers, we bend technology to our will.
          You can’t do spit if the person that purchases HAD won’t maintain the tradition that is Hack A Day.

          We are geeks, we are nerds, we are the elite! IT WILL WORK!!!!!!
          Pride comes before the fall, a haughty spirit before destruction. .
          King Solomon.

          I worked for a retail auto parts store that changed parent corporations. The previous owner sent a letter stating just how fortunate we were to have the new owners that that from their assessment the future looked bright for us.

          Within months, due to many mistakes on their part, the new company for the first time in their corporate history had a red balance sheet. The response was one of over reaction. They implemented a pay freeze loosing all of their veteran managers. I’m talking about he ones that built the company using solid customer service policies. They then eliminated lifetime warranties on all products that had them.

          After a couple of years of mismanagement, the subsidiary that I had worked for was liquidated in bankruptcy. I had left the company sooner rather than later, and from the outside I heard couple of interesting things like:
          – One of the decision makers had a vested interest in another parts store that was a local competitor.
          – When the decision to liquidate was made, there were buyers in the courtroom backed by the creditors, offering to purchase the company.

          It is my opinion that that parts store which was a long standing and solid employer, not to mention the go to store for auto parts in Michigan, was purposely and intentionally put out of business for the benefit of the competitor.

          So don’t think that Hack A Day is a given success story. It’s not. Nothing is. Especially if there are people all gung ho to make it fail.

          Regardless of what people want to believe, good intentions are worthless. Good and proper actions are worth gold as they are what brings success.


    2. as I mentioned, I won’t sell hackaday to a douche.

      if we don’t find an amazing buyer like slashdot or maker, we will keep it going with 10-15 posts at day at the $12 rate. That makes it breakeven with my staff costs and will keep it true to the mission.

      will only sell to someone who will make it BETTER. I promise. @jason

  5. What are the costs in running the site? Is it really infeasible to crowd-sponsor it?Given the ad figure quoted above, I guess that if every other visitor chipped in a buck a year, this would more than cover the costs, no? I’d do it

      1. SERIOUSLY $6K a month? For badly written introductions to projects largely scraped from user submissions….really.
        Well now we all understand why you cant afford the $5k for an editor to get these posts proofread.

  6. Please don’t sell to Demand Media. Ask anyone over at airliners.net if they think the Demand Media takeover was a good thing, and you’ll get a hearty, resounding “NO”. They couldn’t manage their way out of a wet paper bag. I have an account on that site and at least once or twice a month, the site goes down in a weird way. And they’ve got annoying ads added in places that they said would never have ads. Just don’t do it.

  7. If you sell to gawker, I will stop reading this.
    Gawker takes good blogs, and turns them into feminist shitholes.
    I can just see it now.



    1. Jezebel did a thing on the porn star study that made headlines (and was on howard stern) a few months ago and did a really good job with it. I was genuinely impressed with how even handed that was.

      That time a Gawker blogger had a blind date with the Magic: The Gathering world champion is another story entirely, though.


      One of the big things about HaD for me is the comments section. Many readers comment with suggestions and improvements and so on. Many times I’ve learned more from the comments than the content of the actual post. The commenting system on Gawker is near impossible to figure out, and it takes a ton of clicks just to follow one conversation. Please please pretty please not Gawker!

      I think some place like MAKE might be a good home. Maybe attach it to a non-blogging owner? Something like Sparkfun or Adafruit?

  8. Please don’t sell to Gawker, they’ve screwed up Jalopnik and Lifehacker so much int he last few months it’s terrible, would hate to the hAd go the same way :(

  9. I would seriously go with the crowd funding people throw money away on the dumbest things this would be an opportunity to do something worth the ca$h. but either way once le content rems same I would probably still stalk the pages for abit. First sign of change and am extinct….

  10. You don’t sale a website by what it could make but by what it makes at the moment. 500K-1mil is a dream. Better keep it and keep growing it, optimize, improvise and customize. With some tweaking around and getting some aff progs. going you would do what you are looking for in a year with this user base. Maybe hire some marketing firm or something.

  11. I work for a small internet startup, and I’ve been reading HaD since close to the beginning. I sent this article to them, encouraging them to take a look. A few of my hacks have made it onto HaD, and I’d take good care of it.

    Or I’d take Lane’s suggestion above: sell it to me, I’ll take care of it, and you can take all the profit until you get the purchase price :)

  12. The pessimist in me can only see this go very wrong. My evil side tells me that visitor statistics are showing that HaD has peaked, and they want to sell out at an optimal moment. The naive person in me tells me to shut up.

  13. You guys checked-out a long time ago. Thanks for at least acknowledging that you’ve been focused on other ventures. I’d been wondering if overall “hacking” activity has been dropping off or if you’ve just been slacking off — now I know; it was the latter. The site today is a mere shadow of what it was in the past. Let it die a quick death. “After the break,” of course.

  14. Damn, just sent an email to Jason and just now saw the cost. I could only put down about 1/5 of that. I really hope whomever buys ya’ll out lets HackADay work in its own way at its own capacity, rather than merge or f&*k with it. I say you find a good place to host it, pay someone to run it and retain ownership.

  15. Thank you for making the situation transparent. I appreciate Hackaday so much and would miss it if it would dissapear. Good to hear that you would not force to sell it under any conditions.
    I’m not very familiar with the details, but why not merge with makezine?

  16. It sounds like it’s time not money you need so why not hire a site manager to expand the site?
    I too find it amusing that the current adsense algorithms don’t differentiate between repeat/consumable purchase and investments. I currently get ads for “Front doors”perhaps I will make some more holes in my wall so I can put a second one in?

  17. This was a really good run. All Quality Stuff (please underline that) collected here for our ease and convenience of consumption. Many Cudos. Every last day the past couple years first I check CNN, then Wunderground, then Hackaday, dslreports, boing boing, wired, n3kl.org, forteantimes, livescience, space.com, spaceweather.com, solarham.com, heavens-above.com, cleardarksky.com, etc… etc… etc…

    same 70 or so sites each day….

    You’ll be missed….

    Sorry it didn’t bankroll you enough to keep going.

    Buh bye!

  18. thats t i have httrack im making a archive i dont want to loose all of this ive been here 30 times a day every day for the past forever and can say its one of the best places online were you can appreciate hacks mods and makers an lean things that you may have never been into before i for one will love to see the site grow more but i would only like to see some one treat as it should be treated by non money hungry grimlins who will do anything for a buck and change things for the worse to benefit them thanks for bringing all of this HAD i really loved t all

  19. Oh, c’mon, some of you are pretending HaD is dead and buried already. All Jason said is that he’s looking for a good home for it, but will keep it going if he doesn’t find anyone suitable.

    That being said, I’d love HaD to be community-driven, but I can’t really see the community getting E500K together, let alone twice that…

      1. Kickstarter probably wouldn’t allow that, but I’m sure Indiegogo would.

        I think this is the best option for HAD. Create a foundation to buy it from Jason. Crowdfund the purchase price on Indiegogo from HAD’s followers. Then continue as before.

        1. If you guys came up with something reasonable I would sell it to the community. It could be part cash up front and part % of the revenue (i.e. $250k + 10k a month for 30 months). You would really need a leader to run the kickstarter/indiegogo, etc.

          maybe 5 of you can form an LLC to do this, etc.

  20. Anyone else notice the ads in the screen shot used for this article? A mortgage co and personal loans! Whoever took that shot is trying to tell us something!

    1. I think the algorithm that “decides” what ad to show, read the content and understood that a lot of money could change hands, therefore, mortgages and loans are a “logical” result….

  21. I’ve made my forthcoming offer known to Jason. I’m going to the bank today to see my options. I won’t let anything get out of hand and I sympathize with everyone here.

      1. Well, there may be a Kickstarter set up by someone else in the next two weeks. If that happens, I won’t interfere with it (I’ll actually back it). However, I’m skeptical that the Kickstarter could raise the money that Jason wants so I’m still looking into purchasing it myself. On that front, I’ve had two people reach out to me. One is in about the same position as you and the other I’ve only talked briefly with, so I’m not sure what he comes to the table with.

        Unfortunately, I can’t quite get the documentation I need from Jason to get any concrete financial details on my end. I understand why he’s hesitant to give out this information, it’s just that I can’t do anything without it. I’m still pushing him to give it to me so I can make an offer in his price range, though.

        1. Maybe he’s not giving financial details because his numbers don’t add up and he’s hoping some rich guy will buy it without asking too many questions. In these comments he has said HAD makes $14k per month but has $11k per month in labor costs. That leaves $3k per month. HAD’s web hosting alone could easily cost $3k per month. But let’s assume HAD makes $3k per month profit. 5x to 10x profits is $180k to $360, not $1 million.

  22. It seems a shame that most days a post is lucky to get over 20 posts, yet as soon as something controversial is mentioned on here ALL the lurkers come out from the shadows.

    I can’t help but wonder if the HAD owners would feel a bit different if those figures were a little higher. Then again, dumping this site for a blank page with a subscribe button seems quite odd in itself. Kinda feel cheated. Maybe you should give it back to Eliot.

  23. Please don’t sell HaD to a buncha corporate jerks who would ultimately bring this wonderful community to an end. I’ve been reading since High School, where I fought very hard to have this site unblocked from our web filter (cuz you know, keyword:HACKing is bad and all).

    I love the shares idea, I would definitely purchase some myself. Also, is there an effort to archive all the old posts going?

    1. I feel the same way. I’ve sent Jason a couple of e-mails about getting the information necessary to buy HaD myself. I’d much rather own it myself and put time into it and effort back into the community than have it sold to Gawker or Lifehacker (I like Lifehacker, I just don’t feel like they resonate at quite the right level with HaD).

  24. AOL? Uhm.. they work with the certain people a leak told us, and and don’t think HaD is a site where you want those people to observe 24/7.

    Not that they aren’t looking already, but you know, when a too big a company gets involved the censoring starts soon after I fear -and I can say that with some confidence.

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