One year ago, I hopped on a plane to Berlin for TechCrunch Disrupt Europe. At the time, Trista & I were all alone working on Rude Baguette, and had only just started to organize events, which had begun bringing it enough money to pay for plane rides. For the past 9 months, I had been looking at Germany and thinking “Why aren’t we there?” and I decided that the only way we were ever going to get to Germany was to just do it. We threw together a landing page, set an internal launch date for April 2014, and said we’d just start teasing out the idea over the next few months.
I interviewed journalists while in Berlin, made promises with local movers and shakers that Germany would finally get the English-language press coverage it deserved, and we pushed Rüde Pretzel to the world…
…And now what?
Back in Paris the next week, with international expansion on our minds, we kept writing Rude Baguette – we had grown our audience hand over foot in the past 12 months, and we weren’t planning on stopping that.
I knew we would never be able to grow to cover other markets if we weren’t able to bring our own technology into Rude Media – I had looked at other journalists and found 1) there was nothing interesting that we weren’t using and 2) that being a journalist sucked. So we hired a developer and started working on what would become Rude List. Sure enough, by April 2014 at the Paris Founders Event, we launched the private beta for Rude List, a ‘database’ of everything we knew. Between January and April, we had uploaded information on thousands of companies to Rude List, usually while we were writing articles about those companies – taking notes and uploading them – but still, Rüde Pretzel seemed 1000 miles away. Having journalists (1) do an interview (2) write an article and (3) transcribe that article into data was not efficient.
So we grew the tech team – picking up one developer that nearly won Code in the Dark, and another that attended the Paris Startup Job Fair, and we spent all summer on Rude List building News Submissions, so that startups could submit news to us directly . The more we built, the more we learned – about how we were going to launch into Germany, and about how Rude List could become the core of our company.
In September, we launched the Rude List Job Board – a Job Board powered by Rude List – because startups that recruit tend to be startups that are growing, and we wanted to know who was growing in order to know who we should write about.
Looking at the public beta of Rude List today, we have a clear vision of where we want to go – more importantly, earlier this month we hired our CTO, Guillaume Esquevin, to take Rude List to the next level. He’s continuing to build out our tech team – you can see our open positions here.
What the “next level” is will become more apparent in the coming months, but I wanted to answer a few questions that people have been asking us recently:
Germany is the country I visit more than anywhere else – Rude Baguette team members have been to no less than 7 conferences this year in Germany, and I am the first to point out that France + Germany = 150 Million people. That’s half of the United States. Bringing unity in terms of tech coverage to these two markets may be the first step in created the mythical single market, and we believe that the future is less about “Berlin vs. Paris. vs. London vs. Stockholm” and more about “Europe” – we want to be among the great publications like Tech.eu that cover ‘Europe,’ not several countries with trading agreements.