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@niyazpk: I resent this comment:

"I am not sure that more serious* companies...I mean with actual paying customers and such."

Cheezburger has been a profitable business since inception. We have been profitable every single quarter, and never had a quarter with negative cash flows. Our revenues and profits are in the millions.

Very, very few startups can make that claim.

We operate three different lines of business: we sell advertising, we sell merchandise (at http://lolmart.com) and we publish printed materials such as books and greeting cards (http://amzn.to/buztLM).

I assure you that having fun and LOL is a serious business.


"Cheezburger has been a profitable business since inception. We have been profitable every single quarter, and never had a quarter with negative cash flows. "

Oh come on now, how could you have negative cash flow? Your whole business model is based around publishing content on the web you didn't create, (and 99% of the time probably don't even own the rights to), this is not exactly an expensive business to run.

Trust me, it's VERY easy to have negative cash flow, for any business

Sorry, don't get me wrong, I understand it's easy to burn through cash.

My point is: I'm not sure why Cheezburger thinks it's impressive to set up Wordpress blogs of other people's images without breaking the bank.

You don't think it's impressive? Go do it. I believe these guys are profitable with a headcount of 20-30 people (many of whom are content moderators). They've presumably built an ad-sales machine that works, a moderation machine that works, and build some fairly sophisticated custom software as well as the business analytics software behind it to measure/improve their sites. They've also built a "market testing" machine where they launch speculative blogs and measure their success/viability.

These guys have a GREAT growth curve and healthy margins- rare in the content world. Heck, look at Reddit. Great company, soaring page views, barely profitable.

I'm sure you're similarly unimpressed with Yelp? Threadless? Digg? Reddit?

I don't think you understand my point at all. The pageviews Cheezburger garner ARE impressive. That it is possible to run a business with very low capital costs (based on wordpress blogs) fairly inexpensively (and thus grow or _shrink_ organically) is NOT impressive.

I don't know if they're flouting it as "impressive" so much as "This is a fact that is not true for many other start ups."

>> Your whole business model is based around publishing content on the web you didn't create

You mean like Twitter? Facebook? Youtube?

I didn't read niyazpk's comment as a slur against your business model, but as an observation that assumes Cheez code is simpler to write and maintain then other code bases. I can see Cheez's approach working for a web based environment, but for something more involved, say Photoshop, this would probably be a disaster.

The fact that the Cheezburger Network code and development environment is as inviting and straightforward to new developers is not an accident. Without constant care and refactoring, even the most mundane-seeming software systems can develop into unmaintainable cruftballs.

You could also see it as a goal focused towards the quality and maintainability of the codebase, properly defined and communicated tasks, CI- and QA-processes etc. that make it possible.

There's nothing inherently different between a website and "real" software that makes being agile (which this is really about) more possible on websites.

I apologize. I've removed the offending words. My argument stays.

If you are having people check in code on the first day, are you really serious, or just making up silly rules that will blow up when you are actually a company, not just "profitable from inception" (Man, have I heard THAT one before)

The company behind the Cheezburger network is very real (http://www.crunchbase.com/company/pet-holdings-inc). They run some very popular content sites. For example, I Can has Cheezburger is being visited by 3.6 million people per month. Their network as a whole is being visited by 12.1 million people per month, according to Quantcast (http://www.quantcast.com/p-75z9nhQwNH4Ek). How exactly is this business not "real" ?

Now, to the point at hand. Having a new hire show up on the first day, get their work station setup, and complete a round trip of checking out code, fixing something real, and getting it back into the repository is a very real milestone. You might take it as being flippant or process-ignorant, but by getting that new-hire through that hurdle on day one can be seen as a major accomplishment. It may not be right for some businesses, but if you instead got your new hires to submit a change for review rather than for integration into a production build you'd achieve the same effect.

Not only that, if any of my managers or hiring personnel ever bring an idea this dumb to me, I will fire them on the spot.


I can't believe how angry something this utterly nonsensical makes me, but at least I know it's being done by other companies, not by mine.

A little over the top, no? I agree that having developers commit to production code day 1 isn't right for all companies, but having systems sufficiently automated that you can set up a dev workstation and actually commit code in, say, 90 minutes should definitely be a goal for all companies.

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