I just have to gush a little bit. I invested in Curbed Media (aka Curbed, Racked and Eater) in 2008 before the world collapsed. I had been watching the properties from a distance. I loved what Lockhart Steele was doing. I really felt that what he was building was the future in how we would take in our content. When I found out he was beginning to look for investors I literally jumped. It was the first thing I ever invested in.
It has been an incredible investment and an amazing experience. We went through a time when he needed another round of financing and nobody was putting money into anything. Yet I was a big believer that nothing had changed in his business model. The only thing that had changed was the economy had tanked and that would be short-lived. The business would continue to grow because this was the future. I was drinking the kool-aid and I got all the big investors to take a sip too.
Over time the business grew at every turn from Curbed to Racked to Eater. We started to build a serious company with a revenue model that included events and a marketplace. Our audience continues to grow every month as we take our local content to a national audience. Each property is unique yet has the same scrappy snarky edge which I love.
Lock has built an incredible company with amazing group of people. We put on an awards show for each of the properties every year. I went to the Eater Awards this past week and I feel so grateful to be part of this company. The place was packed and people stood in line to get in at 7pm. There were chefs from across the country sharing their wares with NYers who came to celebrate. We held the event at the Bowery Hotel. It was fantastic.
There is nothing quite like the feeling of watching an idea take hold and grow over time to the point where the trajectory is only upward with a revenue model that is producing a profit. We employ a lot of people who love the organization and the community we have crated is just another bonus. Most of all people love to read Eater, Curbed and Racked everyday.
Once in awhile you have to stand back and just gush about those successes. It just feels really good.