Ben Lerer is the CEO and Co-Founder of Thrillist and a Partner at Lerer Ventures. Ben co-founded Thrillest in 2005 after he recognized the need for a city guide, which eventually developed into a leading men’s digital lifestyle publication. We recently spoke with Ben about the newly launched Thrillest Media Group.
The Makegood: Ben, in 2005, you founded Thrillist out of your desire to have a trusted source to give you recommendations for places to go in NYC. What advice can you give other new entrepreneurs?
BL: The advice I’d give is the same advice that was given to me way back when – and that is “don’t hope.” Don’t come up with a great idea and hope that things will happen for you. If you believe in it, you need to go after it and make it happen for yourself. Also, don’t ever enter a chili eating contest – you won’t win and it’s not worth it.
The Makegood: You recently launched Thrillist Media Group, the combination of local deals platform Thrillist Rewards and Thrillist-aquiree JackThreads. Can you tell us about what motivated this new official line of business?
BL: The convergence of the three businesses will extend the reach of our brand and make it even bigger than the sum of its parts. It’ll allow advertisers to reach our 4-million-strong audience of young, urban guys in really impactful ways that move far beyond standard banners and ad units. We spent the last year successfully-dipping our toes into these types of cross-platform campaigns and now we’re ready to move full-speed ahead with TMG in 2012.
The Makegood: You have seen initially positive results, as with the McDonald’s McRib t-shirt campaign. How can other brands get involved with Thrillist Media Group?
BL: The possibilities are literally endless for brands partnering with TMG. Between Thrillist, Thrillist Rewards and Jackthreads, we can allow brands to reach our audience locally and nationally, online and offline, through content and commerce. We have a multitude of great campaigns on the horizon that will set the tone for the amazing opportunities available at TMG.
The Makegood: What new things can a Thrillist enthusiast look forward to seeing this year?
BL: There are a ton of new developments we’re slating for this year, none of which I can speak about quite yet. But you can take my word that they will all be awesome – and partners and subscribers alike should be excited.
The Makegood: Thanks, Ben.