Earlier today, BleacherReport co-founder Bryan Goldberg
raised $US6.5 million to launch a new site geared toward womencalled Bustle.
Goldberg wrote a post announcing the new round on tech publication PandoDaily. But based on the looks of the comments, some people are clearly sceptical:
“A quick look editorially, and it looks like you’re not doing any more than what Refinery29, Cut Blog, fashionista, Racked, Stylecaster, Fashionologie, BuzzFeed fashion, Jezebel, HuffingtonPost fashion, or any of the other hundreds of low-value fashion sites that already does what you’re trying. Many of them can add writers just as quickly as you can.” – excerpt from vFunct’s comment
“Bustle sounds pretty interesting, and it’s wonderful that you’re hiring so many women. But I remain somewhat perplexed and frankly disturbed that VCs are more than willing to support these huge funding rounds to (obviously talented & experienced) MEN to create for a female audience while female entrepreneurs themselves receive less than 10% of all VC funding. Are there women on the founding team? Or are they all just employees? I didn’t see a mention of that, specifically.” – Cynthia Schames
“While I salute you as an entrepreneur able to build a real and healthy business in my industry, news-media, I have to say you don’t make a very convincing case that you are a good CEO to run a feminist brand. First, you managed to name your company after a fashion that’s ancient and was an obstruction to women who sought to move freely (the bustle). That name also feels derivative of the actually feminist magazine Bust. Secondly, you write: “My job, as CEO, is to hire the right people. My job is to know a lot of engineers, editors, venture capitalists, and salespeople — and to bring them together. Knowing the difference between mascara, concealer, and eye-liner is not my job.” Knowing your targeted audience, and that these women (including myself) care about far more than cosmetics might be a good thing for you to include in your job description.” – LoraKolodyny
Some commenters are clearly dumbfounded. Others are trying to better understand Bustle’s main competitors.
From an advertising standpoint, Goldberg says that he sees Vogue, Hearst, and other large women’s publishers as competition. He argues that while there are a lot of great women’s sites out there, they can be very niche. Some that come to mind are Feministing, Autostraddle, Jezebel, and SheWired.
But despite concern from commenters, Goldberg maintains that Bustle writers aren’t just going to write about cosmetics. He also argues that even though there could be better people to serve as the face of the company, not all of those faces would likely be able to achieve the same success with Bustle as he foresees.
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