A few weeks ago, we launched The Mid, a site devoted to those of us in the messy middle of life—working hard, raising families, squeezed for time, anxious about the future, but also in our prime. Part fun, part nostalgia, part information and part resource, we’re just getting started.
Today I’m proud to make some exciting announcements about the umbrella company I created last fall, “Some Spider,” which launched The Mid.
First, I’ve hired Paul Smurl as our chief operating officer and president. Paul was most recently head of all digital at The New York Times and before that, general manager of core digital products, including nytimes.com. Paul is one of the country’s most experienced leaders and thinkers in digital media, earning his chops the past 12 years at what I personally consider to still be our nation’s most trusted and cherished media institution. Paul is smart and fiercely competitive, but also couldn’t be more down-to-earth and humble. These are core values that Some Spider will aspire to maintain as we continue to grow.
Paul will be a key partner of mine as we look now to rapidly build our organization and fulfill the three pillars of our mission: 1) Launch and grow multiple beloved content and community properties that inform, inspire, move, entertain and support tens of million of people 2) with an operational infrastructure and business model that ensure enduring commercial success 3) in a place that is fun and rewarding for our people to work. Simultaneously achieving each of these three goals can be elusive and challenging—as many have warned me—but we won’t stop at anything less. My favorite core value at the last company I co-founded, diapers.com, was “find a way”—and that’s the approach we’ll take.
With these tenets in mind, we recently acquired ScaryMommy.com, the wildly irreverent and popular “imperfect” parenting site that has captured the imaginations of millions of moms. Late last year, I was introduced to the founder, Jill Smokler, by her literary agent Lisa Leshne of the Leshne Agency and was blown away. What Jill has accomplished with her very small team and shoestring budget is one of the most impressive entrepreneurial feats I’ve ever witnessed—and I know some amazing entrepreneurs. Jill will continue to independently run Scary Mommy as she always has, but now with additional resources.
We’ve got more ideas coming. Stay tuned to hear the plans for our third site, the re-launch of cafe.com, later this year.
Vinit Bharara, Founder and CEO