We’re still buzzing from last night’s GeekWire Ping Pong & Anniversary Bash, where we were joined by more than 600 people from across the tech community. It was an epic party, with some fierce ping pong and foosball action.
The energy at these events is a sign of the strength of the Seattle region’s tech community — and we view the growth of GeekWire in much the same way.
Two years ago today, we left our jobs to launch GeekWire. With your help and support, the site that we built over the course of a weekend has grown into a thriving hub of the Pacific Northwest technology community — anchored by a team of five full-time editorial and business staffers, with an expanding array of sponsors and partners, a great lineup of regular contributors, and a growing national and global readership joining our core community at home.
We bring together thousands of people at our GeekWire events throughout the year, average more than 1 million page views a month, and reach a broad audience through our weekly KIRO-FM radio show and podcast.
And the response to our latest big initiative, the GeekWire membership program, has exceeded our expectations — an example of the creative approaches we’ve been able take in our own startup environment.
It’s been a wild — and sometimes wacky — two years. We’ve received hilarious shout-outs from Sir Mix-A-Lot; played GeekBall with the Seattle Sounders; got an awesome mention in a national Best Buy commercial; and were busted for speeding on our way to an interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl. (Todd later appealed, and won).
Of course, we’ve also conducted countless interviews with leading entrepreneurs and technologists at our many events, from Box co-founder Aaron Levie to software pioneer Ray Ozzie to Tableau Software CEO Christian Chabot.
Most important, we’ve confirmed our longstanding belief that the Seattle tech industry deserves — and is strong enough to support — a national technology news site of its own.
And it has only been two years. We feel like we’re still just getting started. We have many new projects in the pipeline, and there’s so much opportunity ahead that one of our biggest challenges is simply figuring out which one to tackle next.
As with any startup story, there have been plenty of triumphs, struggles and changes over the past two years. We’re fortunate to have startup vet Jonathan Sposato, our chairman and investor, guiding us along the way.
Luckily for us, and thanks in part to the wisdom we consume regularly from our awesome entrepreneurial guest columnists, there’s been a heck of a lot more good times than bad. And we recognize that’s not always the case at startups.
GeekWire’s growth is also a testament to our team — the hardest working bunch in the Seattle tech news business. Our crew is small and scrappy. But we’re growing, busting out of our 300 square feet of prime Ballard office space.
In fact, we’re excited to formally announce the addition of a new team member today: Chief Sales Geek Sarah Camp.
Many of you have already met Sarah who joined GeekWire from The Seattle Times where she was a top online advertising salesperson.
Sarah is a force — not to mention a pretty good softball player. Her impact on the business has been immediate, bringing on board a series of new advertisers and sponsors in her first two months on the job.
In fact, we’re also excited to announce that GeekWire recently signed an annual sponsorship with Wave Broadband, our first platinum sponsor. You’ll be hearing more from Wave in the coming months, and we’re excited to partner with this fast-growing Kirkland-based broadband Internet and cable provider.
A big thanks to all of our sponsors and advertisers who make GeekWire possible.
With Sarah’s appointment, we’re also wishing the best to Rebecca Lovell who was instrumental in getting GeekWire’s business firmly rooted in those critical early-stage startup days. We had a ton of fun working with Rebecca, whose energy and passion for the Seattle tech community is unmatched. Rebecca has taken an interim CEO post at the non-profit Vittana, and we’re very much looking forward to singing karaoke with her again some time in the near future. [More on Rebecca’s new gig here].
Many of our readers also are getting to know GeekWire staff reporter Taylor Soper. Todd and I only wish we had half the journalistic skills of Taylor when we were starting out. Look for Taylor’s byline even more on the site, especially around areas of interest such as gaming, sports and mobile.
What’s next for GeekWire?
We do have some big plans this year, including a revamped job board that caters to both employers and job seekers and a new calendar to track the most important tech events in the Northwest and beyond. The GeekWire Awards, taking place on May 9th at EMP (and yes tickets just went on sale) will be bigger and better this year. And we’ve got huge plans for The GeekWire Summit in September, so stay tuned for details on that day long conference.
With all of this change, it’s hard to imagine that two years ago today we sat in the offices of our law firm and signed the documents that officially made us entrepreneurs. It was an exhilarating moment for two newspaper hacks, and a bit surreal. But we also didn’t have much time to let things sink in.
We had work to do, including a news site to launch.
We buzzed down the hill from Seattle’s tallest skyscraper to our developer’s office in Pioneer Square. It was there that we pushed the button that launched GeekWire.
It’s been an amazing ride so far. One of the best experiences of our lives. Our only regret?
We just didn’t make the leap sooner.
Thanks again to everyone in the GeekWire community. It may sound cornball. But we wouldn’t be here without you.
And now for a bit of GeekWire history. It’s hard to imagine that two years ago at about this exact moment we did this…