Ben Huh, founder Cheezeburger Network told The Chicago Tribune, “We’re trying to make the world happy for five minutes a day.”
Turns out that’s an excellent business plan. Huh’s network of sites reaches some 10 million Americans monthly and his Seattle company now has more than 40 employees.
Huh attended Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. The Trib asks him if that influenced his decision to focus on digital.
Q: So at some point in your journalism experience, you realized that 10 or 12 years from now newspapers are going to be in decline and you’d better get out?
A: Completely the opposite. The newspapers were doing great, and I had an internship at The Washington Post after graduation. I thought, well, I know this sounds crazy but I’m not going to go work for The Washington Post. And I went to work for Cars.com. I had no experience working anywhere, and they offered me a signing bonus. And when the dot-com bubble burst, all my friends were like, “You picked the wrong job.” I remember that distinctly. “We’re doing fine and you screwed up. You should have stuck with the newspapers.”
Building a successful company is not a random act. But it’s still funny to see how decisions, big and small, play out over time. Huh thought Cars.com was the better route to take, and for him, it was.