After Selling His Company For $US110 Million To Amazon, The Founder Of Woot Started Another Funny Daily Deals Site

Matt rutledgeTwitter / Matt RutledgeMatt Rutledge, founder of Mediocre Labs

Don’t bother with — a daily deals site in the most traditional sense — if you don’t want a touch of wackiness, whimsy, or irony served up alongside your e-commerce.

“Everything is centered around our sense of humour,” Matt Ruttledge, the founder of Mediocre Laboratories, and thus, told Business Insider.

Here’s the idea: Every day, for exactly 24 hours starting at midnight EST, Meh will sell exactly one product. That’s it. Once the day is over, a new product will get its chance in the 24-hour spotlight. Meh has no automatic emails or social media presence — it’s just the site, the product (hilariously described — today’s deal revolved around the idea of the potato salad of Kickstarter infamy), a poll, and a video.

Meh has only been live since June 9. Today, you can buy a Speck iPad Mini case for $US5; on the first day, the site sold Roomba 560 vacuums, described on the site as “the hottest floor-cleaning robots of 2007.” Not overly impressed by the selection? Well, “meh” is the mantra of the site, after all.

The site also lists each day’s live stats. At right are the stats so far from the Speck sale. Previously, Meh sold 315 Roombas (220,200 people visited the site total), netting $US58,238.16, counting shipping and tax.

Rutledge is an e-commerce veteran. He sold his daily-deals company Woot to Amazon for $US110 million in 2010. He stayed at Amazon until June 2012, leaving a year before his contract ended. At that point, Woot looked a lot different: The site had become more complicated and had lost a lot of the quirky humour that had originally enticed fans.

Meh is Rutledge’s version of turning back time. Woot lost its original vision because of the pressure to grow. At Meh, there’s no pressure. Its FAQ page puts it plainly: “Oh, we have no idea if this’ll work. See, that’s why it’s an experiment.”

“The underlying premise is that we’re building a store that you don’t need to buy anything from to have fun,” Ruttledge told Business Insider. “We’re proud of testing that.”

Meh is only one of several experiments that Mediocre Laboratories is working on. Several others are code-named on the site, including Wohler, which asks if the community can create a “crap distribution network,” and Jensen, which explores different price scenarios around the idea that humans are the only animals that can feel spite.

“It wouldn’t be fair to say all those ideas are good ideas and that we’ll do them,” Rutledge says. “But it’s an in-progress list of things that show how we think. Those are the ideas that we have fun introducing to each other.”

At this point, the Mediocre teams rolls about 35 people deep. They may not know exactly which e-commerce experiment they will tackle next, but Rutledge is excited for the journey regardless.

“The community is really the most important part,” he says. “The sense of loss when you sell a business when it has a community is immense, and if you let that community down, that’s your fault. So having a chance to become reacquainted with old friends and see that community come back alive means everything to me.”

Check out the video included with the Speck case sale today. It features something called “Mad Ape Den” Karaoke, where you have to sing a popular song only using words with three letters or fewer. Rutledge says that he and some members of the Mediocre team have been “doing stupid things on the internet since the ’90s,” and Mad Ape Den is an example of that.

Here’s Mediocre ‘s Dennis performing the Mad Ape Den version of Tubthumping:

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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