A look back at 2013, and what 2014 should hold.

11 Dec

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update on Examine.com (four months or so), and quite a lot has happened since then.

To say we’ve aggressively expanded would be a slight understatement. The Supplement-Goals Reference Guide has (and continues to) sell like gangbusters, which has given us a pool for funding continued aggressive expansion.

From the start, I’ve espoused the view that you have to become so good that they can’t ignore you. Based on that, when the spigot of cash flow opened up, our only consideration was – how can we bolster our research team?

We hired more researchers. And not just anyone – we made sure they came from multiple disciplines. It was important to not only hire smart people, but smart people who came from different modals of knowledge, who had experience in different facets of research involving health and nutrition.

That’s our base. That’s what makes us so good. But I’m also pragmatic – I realize that to ensure the smart guys can focus on what they do best, they need support.

So for the past few months I’ve been working on laying the groundwork. My activity level on extraneous stuff like Facebook has plummeted while I’ve been painting a coherent picture. A fuzzy image is finally being brought into focus.

As of right now, we’re receiving roughly 15,000 visitors every day. We are constantly referenced by fitness professionals, enthusiasts, and laypeople alike. As far as I know, every single major fitness magazine is well aware of what we’re trying to do. People are sticking around – we get over 2.5 page views per visit, over 150 seconds on average are spent on our site, and the #1 keyword people use to find us through search engines is “examine.com” (with “examine” right behind it). Our Facebook page has almost 17,500 fans, and our Twitter has over 4,000 followers. All of this due to the small images in our menu bar.

That’s where we are today. In 2014, I have two major goals:

1. Assemble a team. We have our researchers, now it’s time to get everyone else in place – be it a CTO (to work on our upcoming version 6), a copyeditor (to help standardize our writing and create a style guide, to look over our English, etc.), or all the other little holes that need to be filled.

2. Systematize and re-retire. Anyone who has ever talked to me or listened to any of the interviews I’ve

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done knows I’m a fan of finding smart people, empowering them, and letting them focus on what they do best. Once the team is assembled, the rest of 2014 is about getting all the niggling details out of the way. I firmly believe that most inefficiencies can be removed through intelligent programming. The codebase should eliminate the annoying and the redundant, and let the person focus on what they’re best at.

Once that is all in place, it’s time to remove myself from the system. I’ll likely stay involved in business development and strategy because the direction we go is extremely near and dear to my heart, but everything else will be taken care of by people better than me. One of the hardest parts about seeing your baby grow is trusting that they can not only survive without you, but thrive without you.

And I am going to give it that trust. Within 12 months, my day-to-day involvement should be minimized.

Examine.com has become much bigger than Kurtis or I. We couldn’t have done it without your support, and I hope everyone who reads this continues to do so – it is very appreciated.

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