Richard MacManus – Founder and CEO, ReadWriteWeb

“It started with just me blogging in the evening after my day job at the time and I just used it as a platform to write about technology and to connect with other people. I found that I was connecting to people in the Silicon Valley that were doing all these interesting new start-up ideas. This was 2003, the period after the dotcom bust and so things were a little bit quiet but bubbling up again as well. So I was connecting with all of these people and then something called Web 2.0 arrived and YouTube and MySpace became popular and what I was writing about was connecting with more and more people... and it turned into a business.

There were a couple of tipping points really. One was when sites like YouTube became very popular and a lot of people became curious about other start-ups that were happening. Around 2005, things started to bubble up again literally. There was another bubble of activity with start-ups in Silicon Valley and big companies like Google were doing a lot of innovation. So that was one of the tipping points where the blog became really popular amongst people interested in technology wanting to find out the latest news. That was the point when ReadWriteWeb started to do more news. Up till then, it was more of an analysis blog. It still is an analysis blog but now we do daily news as well and write 25-30 posts a day, at this point in time. The other tipping point was when the iPhone came out and mobile Web became quite popular.

It’s definitely unique. I run the site from here in New Zealand. I travel to America fairly regularly. All of my staff, all of my writers are based in America, the business development stuff is done in the States and the site earns US dollars. So it’s pretty much an American business, but it just happens to be run by a Kiwi. It’s got its challenges, like the timezones for example. First thing when I wake up in the morning, I’m straight onto the computer and half the day has already gone on the west coast of America and virtually the full day on the east coast. That’s definitely been a challenge. But I find that most of the audience doesn’t really care where I come from – perhaps they don’t even know that I come from New Zealand. It’s got very much of an international flavour.”


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