Ben Huh Is Laughing Out Loud

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 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 was the better route to take, and for him, it was.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.