023 – Ryan Harwood of PureWow – “Illuminating Wow”

Building a digital trendsetter…

Ryan Harwood (CEO of PureWow, a women’s lifestyle digital media company dedicated to makingRyan Harwood life easier and more interesting, who led the company to more than 4 million readers in just five years and to a place on 2014’s Inc 5000 list of fastest growing private companies) joins Marc Raco (Monkey Radio and Hope Is Project), Rob Sanchez (Manufacture New York and Ralph and Remington [Episode 22]) and Pavan Bahl (OS Fashion) and starts strong by bringing along alcohol-infused cupcakes! Marc reveals his amazing just-arrived Lumio Book Lamp (the Shark Tank featured product mentioned in Episode 6) which later saves the show when the overhead lighting fails.

Ryan HarwoodHarwood reveals how he turned ambition and a competitive nature into the drive to build PureWow to fill a void in the marketplace with a viable product, the importance of exhaustive research into one’s market for market validation, why he focused on women as his audience and found their interests, and why the path of rapid failures to success is valid. A discussion of the way brands use mobile technology and performance differences apps for single brands vs. apps drawing together multiple brands, multiple experience points vs. siloed, and why PureWow doesn’t have an app. A discussion on the low brand loyalty of Millennials and how PureWow is at the intersection of discovery and utility.

Harwood offers a rare insight into the origins of the name “PureWow” and why it has the word “wow. An exploration into SEO data discovers surprising the relative places fashion and technology hold with PureWow’s business. The difference between time-spent and most-shared and the amazing path how email publication drove PureWow to current popularity The effort to avoid commoditizing reach, un-replicable methods, full long-form content destinations, and a debate on lists vs. slide shows.

Why learning and analysis should never stop and maintaining quality of readers, quality overCupcakes quantity, and the potential limits of banner ads. When did Harwood know PureWow was a success and why it is still like pushing a rock up a hill. The importance of utility and priority in apps, the challenges of staying ahead of the curve, new trends from kale to mushrooms to wallpaper, the role of curators, tastemakers, trendsetters, and how data and analytics can be part of determining if trendsetting is in sync with readers.

The evolution of the company from outreach to the culture of new office space, and the balance and dynamics of male and female employees. Plus, an open call for new employees being hired, the impact of athletics on a winning mentality, getting knocked down a few pegs, and finding partnerships that are built on the three pillars of successful relationships.

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