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Funding the Future
Greg Mason: Pioneering New Paths for Internet Innovation
By Emma Penrod
November 7, 2014
You may not have heard of Purch, but you’ve probably visited one of its many websites: Top Ten Reviews, Tom’s Guide, Newsarama, Live Science or Space.com. As CEO, Greg Mason is one of the central forces behind Purch, a company that oversees digital brands that consistently rank among the top 50 overall websites in the United States. But Mason isn’t content—the world of digital publishing is still evolving, and he’s determined to see Purch on the forefront of online innovation.
You have an extensive background in digital media and publishing. What drew you to the industry?
Publishing has long been a passion of mine. When I was in graduate school, I started a travel magazine and was hooked. I was living in San Francisco at the time, which was a hot-bed of tech publishing. I soon landed my first job post-grad school with IDG’s PC World.
When CNET first launched and the internet started to take off, I could see the writing on the wall. This was a new world order. The digital medium is still so young and vibrant, and it’s changing all the time. This unpredictable development is what makes the space so continually interesting and exciting.
How did you get involved with Purch?
I joined Purch—then TechMedia Network—in late 2012 after being approached by the board of directors to broaden the overall vision and evolve the company beyond its content roots. Soon after I joined TechMedia, we rebranded as Purch with a new mission to simplify the purchase decision process for businesses and consumers. It has been thrilling to help lead this company’s unification of content, commerce and community, which has shepherded in accelerated growth, success and scale. We are on pace to triple the size of the company.
Purch recently announced it is nearing $100 million in revenue. What does this mean for the company’s future?
We are ambitious, but we are also really grounded about our mission. Our success to date reflects this focus. Revenue growth will take care of itself if we maintain that mindset and push ourselves to innovate and continuously build upon the underlying value we offer our readers and marketers. There is no shortage of complicated new products and services that consumers need advice on. We intend to meet that need whenever and however they choose to find the information. Optimizing our brands, content and services to mobile is a current focus area that we are really excited about.
What aspect of your work at Purch do you currently find most rewarding?
Innovation on behalf of our customers. In our case, we have two customers: users/readers and marketers. I really enjoy the process of trying to understand customer intent—which means understanding what our users are looking for when they come to one of our sites and how we can best serve them when they get there—and then finding ways to meet and exceed their expectations. We think the future of publishing is an immersive experience that seamlessly connects high-quality content, relevant commerce opportunities and peer-to-peer advice in a way that enriches the user experience and builds brand loyalty.