Co-founder and CEO of Thrillist.com, Ben Lerer, has taken a 600 person personal email list and built it into one of the most powerful men’s brands online. In this 20-minute session, Lerer will share his experiences and discuss what’s made Thrillist work. Topics will include: growing an audience organically, reaching niche demographics, the power of email, keeping up with constantly changing technology and new platforms, working with advertisers on multilevel campaigns and generally, creating a brand online.
Thrillist.com, a leading men’s lifestyle multimedia company was started in 2005 by two college buddies living in NYC, who felt badly underserved by the men’s magazines and city guides available to them. After taking notice of this gap in the market, Thrillist was launched to address the lack of funny, actionable information available to young men. Just 4 years later, Thrillist reaches over 1.75 million daily subscriptions in 15 localized markets in the U.S. and, as of recently, the U.K.
Thrillist co-founder and CEO, Ben Lerer graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. Immediately following, the native New Yorker returned to his home city to work with hotelier Andre Balazs in operations for his two Los Angeles Standard Hotels, The Raleigh Hotel in Miami and Hotel QT in New York.
While living in New York City, Lerer recognized the need for a no-BS city guide that didn’t cater to tourists or the Zagat-minded and in response launched Thrillist in 2005 to address the lack of funny, actionable information available to young men. Just four years later, Thrillist has developed into a leading men’s lifestyle publication with over 1.7 million daily subscriptions in 15 localized markets in the U.S. and, as of recently, the U.K. Currently, Lerer oversees business development, advertising sales and marketing efforts for Thrillist in addition to managing the company’s 50 employees.
This year, Lerer was among Crain’s “40 Under 40” class of 2010. He has been featured in the New York Daily News and Inc. Magazine in their 2009 “30 under 30” list of successful entrepreneurs, as well as the Silicon Alley Business Insider 100 list for three years running. Over the past year, Lerer was also featured on Bloomberg TV’s “Venture” and Wall Street Journal’s “MarketWatch.” He serves on the Board of Directors for the East River Development Alliance, a New York non-profit organization and is an Associate Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences (IADAS). Lerer is also the co-founder of Lerer Media Ventures, a New York based Angel fund investing in media and technology.