In light of the recent adblock-pocalypse, it’s worth considering a question: Is everything on the Priceonomics Blog an advertisement? Or is nothing here an advertisement?
On one hand, each article we publish should in some small way exhort companies to purchase our current and future services. On the other hand, our motivation to create is driven primarily by our desire to make great content. We’re not 100% sure we know the answer.
Regardless, there are no ads in the traditional sense on this blog. There’s nothing to block; no one is being tracked. An incremental page view doesn’t really affect us in a material way. Instead, like most businesses, we make money by selling things. There’s no “business side” separated from a “content side” at Priceonomics. We’re all on the same side.
Last week, a fourth writer joined Priceonomics. Revenues are looking good, so we are now trying to hire a fifth writer. He or she will be be the 9th employee at Priceonomics.
We think Priceonomics is an experiment in the future of publishing. Perhaps you’ll consider joining us?
The Case for Joining Priceonomics
If you join Priceonomics as a writer, your goal will be to bring new information into the world. You are expected to do so with an exceptionally high level of rigor while telling an interesting story. Every time you address a topic, you should write the definitive article on that issue.
If the opportunity to work hard at bringing valuable information into the world appeals to you, we hope you’ll consider applying.
So, why else would you want to join our team?
First, we have a very interesting model for funding content. While almost every content site makes money by generating page views and slapping up ads, we do something different. We give away information for free on the Priceonomics blog, and we make money mostly by selling premium information and services to businesses. We sell things that people want to buy—and so far, it’s working.
Content companies continue to be commoditized because there is infinite supply of online content and a finite supply advertising. We are trying to find a model that takes advantage of the market opportunities caused by the Internet, rather than fighting against them.
It’s important to focus on making money so that we can afford to hire more people to make the kind of content that we love. This is our riff on a famous Walt Disney quote: “We don’t make movies to make money; we make money to make more movies.” As we can afford to hire more people by having a durable business model, we may one day become a very large company.
Secondly, on a micro level, our numbers suggest that Priceonomics could end up being very big some day. Our ratio of visitors per writer compares very favorably to almost any major publisher. If we maintain these numbers with a larger staff, we will be in a formidable position to compete with the Internet’s largest media sites.
Third, the people who work here are nice and immensely talented. We’re trying to create a place where talented people come into a system that sets them up to succeed at their jobs. A place where if you do good work, the world notices.
Your role will be to write great things that help bring transparency to the world. This could include making previously opaque information well-known, exploring the business model of a company or industry, or writing about the data sets that we create. An economic slant and data-driven analysis are your tools to tell important stories in novel ways.
We do not assign article topics, and the responsibility to come up with good story ideas comes with the freedom to pursue them. You could spend your time interviewing plastic surgeons, reading quirky behavioral economics research, or analyzing the revenue streams of airports.
The role is based in San Francisco at our office in the Mission District. Yes, it's a little silly that the job requires you to sit in an office in San Francisco when there is a thing called the Internet. But for now we're still figuring this whole "Priceonomics thing" out, and it's easier for us to figure things out when everyone is in the same room.
In terms of requirements, you should be:
* Able to write clearly and with humor
* Skilled at synthesizing lots of information and explaining complicated concepts simply
* Proficient with basic statistics and microeconomics
* Fascinated by the prospect of writing about things like SkyMall magazine, the economics of living a van, how food trucks make money, or the economics of Girl Talk. Here’s a link to some of our most popular articles.
* Eager to come up with interesting topics to write about. This is the most important qualification for the job.
We are interested in hearing from a wide range of applicants: anyone who has great ideas and a desire to write stories that engage millions of readers. It’s a plus if you’re fairly active on Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, or other platforms where awesome things spread, but it’s far more important that you can write well and have a nose for good stories.
A lot of people don’t want to be in San Francisco or don’t want a full-time job. If that is you, consider submitting a piece through our freelance program.
How to Apply
Send us an email (email@example.com) with the following information:
1. What you consider to be your relevant resume information (links to your online footprint, your Linkedin, your resume, etc.).
2. A list of story ideas. Check out our most popular posts to get a flavor for what kind of topics we like. Please include the angle you’d take rather than just a topic or headline (ie. “Market manipulations in the fine art market” rather than just “Fine art is bullshit”).
3. Your best writing sample. Send us a link or attachment of the writing sample that you’d like us to read. You can send along more than one, but please specify which one you’re most proud of.
Priceonomics is a work in progress. We hope to get a chance to work with you and build something great together.