What Our Users Will Pay For

Moderated by:
Eric Wilhelm (Instructables.com)
Armen Berjikly (Experience Project), Heather Hilleren (Local Dirt), Rich Reimer (Grouply)
Strategy & Business Models
Location: 2005 Level:
Average rating: **...
(2.12, 8 ratings)

2009’s drastic reduction in online advertising forced us to rethink
Instructables’ ad-driven business model, and quickly build new revenue
generating products, primarily in the form of paid subscriptions. In
this panel discussion, we’ll investigate the changing business models
of Instructables and three other small web-based business, with the
specific focus on understanding what services and products our users
are willing to pay for, and how we figured it out fast enough to stay

This is a designated Web2Open Hybrid session, with a follow up discussion scheduled in Web2Open Room 1 at 3:40pm.

Eric Wilhelm


Eric is the founder and CEO of Instructables.com, a DIY project-sharing website. He earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at MIT, and is a co-founder of several companies including Squid Labs, Potenco, MakaniPower, and OptiOpia that are respectively involved in innovation research, distributed human-energy, high-altitude wind, and vision measurement and correction.

Armen Berjikly

Experience Project

An honors graduate of Stanford University with a bachelor’s in computer science, Armen’s primary research focus was human-computer interaction, where he worked closely with professor Clifford Nass, author of the groundbreaking HCI work, The Media Equation. Later, Armen went on to obtain a master’s degree in management science and engineering, also at Stanford, with an emphasis on organizations, technology and entrepreneurship. Armen was also a Mayfield Fellow, a prestigious fellowship that provides intensive training in entrepreneurship in the field of engineering. Armen’s idea for Experience Project came about in response to his support of a friend who was diagnosed with the life changing illness of multiple sclerosis; he designed an online support community that would empower MS patients by sharing knowledge and experiences on what it is really like to live with MS. It gave voice to a group of people known to suffer in silence, and the opportunity to be among new friends, those who truly understood each other’s challenges. He soon realized that sharing real-life experiences had the potential for helping anyone dealing with challenging issues and soon launched the Experience Project – the first anonymous social experience website. The site encourages sharing experiences, giving advice, or just being there for someone to talk to.

Photo of Heather Hilleren

Heather Hilleren

Local Dirt

www.localdirt.com is a national logistics & marketing SaaS for local food. Funded by National Science Foundation and OATV. Think it’s easy working with gov, techs, corp, foodies and farmers? Try it.

Photo of Rich Reimer

Rich Reimer


Rich is the Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Grouply. Rich has over 15 years of sales, marketing, and management experience in high-tech companies. Prior to Grouply, Rich held executive positions at Siebel Systems, Blue Martini Software, and Oracle Corporation. Prior to Siebel, Rich held sales and marketing positions at General Electric and Bell Atlantic. Rich received his Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, his Masters in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar.

Silverlight Showcase
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • .CO
  • Adobe Systems, Inc.
  • Ericsson
  • Germany Trade & Invest
  • IBM
  • Berlin Partner
  • blueKiwi
  • EffectiveUI
  • HP
  • Neustar, Inc.
  • OpenSRS
  • OpenText
  • PayPal
  • Pearltrees
  • The Planet

Rob Koziura
(415) 947-6111

Kaitlin Pike
(415) 947-6306

View a complete list of Web 2.0 Expo contacts.