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There’s no profile for the hugely popular outlet, whose Web traffic far surpasses that of many mainstream news sites. As viral powerhouses Upworthy and Buzz Feed have sailed into the public eye in recent years with venture capital backing and—in the latter case—an ambitious investigative journalism unit, Thought Catalog has kept its staff small and its profile low.“I didn't want our early business partners judging us by my age,” Lavergne admits in an interview. I wanted to know what makes The Thought & Expression Co.tick, how it became the monster media presence it is.There, at The W Loft on Kent Avenue, the scene was uncharacteristically lavish.Waiters carted around hors d'oeuvres as bloggers and online media elite gawked at potted plants, decorative typewriters and what looked to be a real taxidermied bear.Now 28, the writer flew in from Los Angeles for the occasion.“The party made my heart swell with happiness,” O’Connell said in an email the next day.After getting some Thought Catalog pieces published, Georgopulos quit her day job at a hair product company in 2011 to become a full-time writer and editor for the site, which she left several years later for Gawker Media. It’s incredible and it’s bizarre.” For most of Georgopulos’s tenure, Ryan O’Connell was the burgeoning star writer.
“I didn’t want ego to enter the equation.” Thought Catalog is known for confessional writing—but Chris Lavergne won’t be the one confessing.
“To see this company, which started in Chris’s apartment, turn into something that can afford a fucking oyster tent is so amazing.” in these slideshows Heads Down Ten blocks north, near the Bedford Avenue L Train, is Thought Catalog’s small but spacious office suite.
The minimalist decor mimics the site’s homepage design; there are dark wooden floors, black couches, plenty of plants and not much else taking up space.
For the writers and managers of Thought Catalog, there was much to celebrate. The previous year, 2014, had been its biggest in terms of Web traffic, which sometimes exceeded 30 million unique monthly visitors.
(According to the audience measurement firm Quantcast, that’s enough to place Thought Catalog among the 75 most popular websites in the country.) And there were new developments on the horizon.
On February 1, 2015, Thought Catalog had 1 million visitors.” He introduced “the man of the hour,” Thought Catalog founder Chris Lavergne, who gave a brief speech thanking everyone who’d contributed to the company over the years, and then introduced the musical duo ASTR, which performed as partygoers stood around munching cotton candy.