Ten Money Questions for David Hauslaib
David Hauslaib is the twentysomething guy behind Jossip and Queerty. While he might not have as many URLs as Nick Denton or the name recognition of Perez Hilton; he’s got youth, good looks, a proven track record and time on his side as he makes his mark on the World Wide Web. All this makes for good money fodder in this week’s Ten Money Questions.
1. Is gossip still a lucrative business? Or is the public on rumor mill overload?
Yes, but likely only if you’ve already made your mark. If you’re starting something new in gossip in 2008, it’s probably a lost cause, and will cost extreme sums of money to distinguish itself and find an audience. The space is quite saturated with talent already, and the idea of first-mover status is gone. It would be difficult for a new entrant to make any sort of splash — which isn’t to say it can’t be done, but it would be very difficult. I feel bad mostly for print magazines in the gossip niche, since their jobs are 10X harder than they were just a few years ago, because of the enormous competition they face online.
2. What is your most significant memory about money?
Making it, of course. Since Jossip.com started as a one-man hobby in my college dorm room, there were never any costs, which meant all revenue qualified as profit. Or, more accurately, beer money. We’ve been profitable since Day One, and we’ve operated that way ever since. The longest it’s ever taken for a new site to turn a profit is three weeks.
3. Do you ever pay people for tips and tattle?
4. You look like you’re about 19. Do you still get carded every time you buy a drink?
I’m newly 25. And yes! However, my partner, who is older than I but somehow looks 10 years younger, gets carded more than I do. Not that it irritates me or anything.
5. What’s going to be your next money-making venture?
Online media remains a pretty lucrative space if you know what you’re doing, so I plan to stay in this business for some time to come. As for the next venture, it’ll probably be a new site to fit another niche. Our model has a proven track record, so I won’t mess with it too much.
6. What did your father teach you about money? How were mom’s lessons different?
Vigilance. Not spending when you don’t have the money. My parents were very responsible with their finances. My mother was always stricter, and my dad was more likely to be the one throwing a $20 bill my way to go to the movies. You can guess who I asked for money more often.
7. Are you still working 14 hours a day?
Yes, but sometimes only 10, and that’s when I’m on vacation. But there are some days where I’m going for 16 or 18 hours, and I would like to see fewer of those in my future.
8. Have any of your sites ever been hit with a lawsuit?
It’s the nature of the gossip business that we’re going to say something about someone who doesn’t take to it kindly, and threatens legal action. Mostly it’s a lot of cease and desists letters, but I’ve made many frenemies with lawyers.
9. How do you like to spend your money?
Traveling. Since university I established that goal in life: to work as hard as it takes to have discretionary income to travel. And so far, I’ve been quite successful at it. I just got back from Iceland for my birthday, was in London and Paris earlier this year, and will probably be in Chile next year. My goal is to step foot on all seven continents; I have just Australia and Antarctica left.
10. I’ve read that gay men make the best bosses. Would your writers agree you’re the best boss man?
You will have to ask them! I work with an excellent team of young, talented individuals, and Jossip wouldn’t be where it is today without their efforts. I like to think I’m a decent captain, but my staff knows as well as I do that they don’t answer to me — they answer to our readers.
More about David Hauslaib
David Hauslaib is the founder of Jossip Initiatives, the leading blog publisher he started 5 years ago in his college dorm room. David publishes Queerty (the Internet’s most-read gay lifestyle title), Jossip (the must-read insider media and celebrity sheet), Mollygood (the scathing pop culture and celebrity gossip rag), and Stereohyped (the award-winning black lifestyle blog).
David has been profiled by New York magazine and Playboy, was named to Out magazine’s inaugural Hot 100, appears on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, NPR, and E!, and has been interviewed by the New York Times and the Washington Post — not that he defines himself by his press or anything. He lives in New York and Los Angeles, and bi-coastal living is the only bi-anything he’s doing these days.
Read other Queercents interviews in the Ten Money Questions archive.