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This Is So Stupid

In Year Two, Defector Will Be Pursuing The Following Ventures

A close-up of two men shaking hands, circa 1948.
FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Defector, a site that covers real estate and recipes, turns one year old this week. In that time, the company has grown to a staff of 23, reached 40,000 subscriptions, and has achieved a run rate of over $3 million (I’m told this is good). While it is nice to create a sports site with a distinct voice and no intrusive advertising elements, we do not want to rest on our laurels. Real business is all about infinite growth. Consistency is for chumps. If you’re snoozing, you’re losing. In service to you, our subscribers, Defector vows to explore the following pivots as options for our second year of existence.

Basketball team

Every so often—typically occurring around a time when multiple staffers have hung out in person—the Defector staff remembers that they employ a bunch of rangy bloggers. Wow, they’re tall as hell! When it comes to people who should’ve hooped instead of pursuing their day job, Defector might be right up there with Osama bin Laden. To that end, now would be the perfect time for us to form a basketball team. This roster has a lot of potential, and we could easily put together two rotations of players. We can start by playing sham games against Division I schools and work our way up to low-level tournaments on the East Coast. If Phil Jackson is reading this, let us know your interest; we can compensate you with a subscription and T-shirt. Hell, if you develop a championship-winning team, we’ll even thrown in commenting privileges.

Twitch

Defector already has a Twitch channel. Right now we primarily use it for asking whether every existing movie is “good” or “fine,” and occasionally breaking up those conversations with trivia, but what if we expanded it beyond those few hours per week? Defector can transform into a “Twitch-first” media company. Every work day will be livestreamed, so that subscribers can be immersed in the blog environment. They will get to see real Defector staffers silently typing at their computers, then chuckling every 15 minutes or so, and thinking about getting lunch when it’s already 3 p.m. This is a priceless experience, only previously experienced by any Defector employee’s significant other.

Greeting card company

Just tossing the idea into the ring. Outside of card: I cherish every moment of our life together. Inside of card: Let’s remember some anniversaries. Mark Teahen wishes you 10 wonderful years of marriage.

Hype house

If the readership supports this, Defector will purchase a home in Southern California and begin recruiting and incubating influencers. Just imagine it: Charlie McCharlie, Charlz, Charliee, Chuck, and Chilly Charles coming to you live every day from Team Ratto Headquarters. What could be more engaging with a vital demographic than that?

Space

Everyone else is trying to go to space. Why not us? Be warned: To meet the budget for this project, we will need all of you to renew your subscription and buy at least one T-shirt. Maybe two. In return for your generosity, we vow to launch Drew and Roth into orbit so that they can record what would be a historic episode of The Distraction. Is it true that in space, no one can hear you singing a mashup? There’s only one way to find out.

Staking a Turkish restaurant in downtown Dubai

Did somebody say “Borgir”? I did. Let me get in on these borgirs.

Private equity

I know, I know. Right now you’re probably saying something like, “Hey, isn’t Defector’s whole thing that private equity is bad and largely responsible for the ongoing destruction of the media industry?” Yes, but have you considered this question: If we do it, wouldn’t it be good?

In Year Two, Defector will set aside 75 percent of its monthly revenue and deposit that money into the Defector Futures Fund, a new private equity firm that will be managed by Patrick Redford. As a Bay Area resident, he’ll be a natural at this. What will we invest in? Probably whatever Patrick’s into: mycology, rock climbing, and the city of Sacramento. If you have a company that operates in any of those fields and are looking for backers, get in touch!

The Defector Sports Book

Everyone’s got their own sports book these days, so what will make ours different? For one, we won’t be accepting or paying out any bets. Instead, we will just visit three random subscribers every month and threaten to “take them for a ride” unless they pay up now, in cash, plus the vig.

Making the world a worse place

Facebook shouldn’t hog all the fun. Let us get in on that!


Please share your own suggestions for Defector: Year Two. And just in case we pick the space venture, buy a T-shirt.