Bustle CEO Bryan Goldberg looks back on how he pissed off the wrong people on Recode Media.
Bustle CEO Bryan Goldberg is a man who runs a website aimed at women — and from the get-go that made some people wary.
“For women, starting companies, raising venture capital, it’s tough out there,” he said on the latest episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka. “They face a lot of frustrations that existed in 2013 and, unfortunately, still exist three years later. Not nearly enough progress has been made here.”
And then Goldberg, feeling the energy of an exciting startup launch, put his foot in his mouth, proclaiming on PandoDaily that “women’s publishers have completely lost sight of which decade their readers are living in.” He wrote:
Isn’t it time for a women’s publication that puts world news and politics alongside beauty tips? What about a site that takes an introspective look at the celebrity world, while also having a lot of fun covering it? How about a site that offers career advice and book reviews, while also reporting on fashion trends and popular memes?
“The tone was off,” Goldberg said. “I didn’t talk enough about the women I’ve hired and I should’ve talked more about the landscape that pre-existed.”
“I’ll tell you something, Peter: I think apologizing is great,” he added. “You say something, the wrong words came out, maybe you didn’t approach it the way you wanted to do, and then you just apologize and move on.”
Goldberg’s last company Bleacher Report, he said, succeeded and ultimately sold to Turner Sports for $200 million because its founders took criticism to heart and learned from it. He wants to do the same thing at Bustle, which he said attracts some 40 million readers to its website every month, and made $30 million in revenue this year.
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