By @SimonCocking

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Describe the company – the elevator pitch …

HeadStuff @ThisHeadStuff is a cultural media website. We promote high quality original writing and aim to be the first site that people visit to read meaningful articles about film, music, humour, science, history, literature, visual art and topical things. Also we’re endlessly cool, which is a bonus.

How are you different?

We’re different because all of our content is original, it is written by our wonderful contributors, and we take care to think a lot about the experience of our readers. We don’t publish clickbait and we’re not covered in ads.

Why will the company / product do well?

Because our audience appreciates good content, and that’s what we do best. We have a great team who are passionate about the site and want to see it succeed, and together, we’ll do it. Like the Captain Planet team.

Where are you based, how is the broadband? How long will you stay there?

We’re based in Dublin 2. The broadband is being borrowed from the office next door and I would describe it as, “all right”. At the moment we’re not paying for it, so it’s great. How long will we stay here? That depends on so many factors that would be incredible boring to talk about now. Let’s just say; as long as we need to/until we’re kicked out.

When was the company launched?

The site started as a one man show in February 2014, but it didn’t stay like that for long as people started to submit great stuff to me. We have only been thinking about it as a potential business for the past few months.

What have been your biggest wins to date?

Well, in a literal sense, we won the Arts and Culture Blog of the year award at Blog Awards Ireland, and we were a finalist for a Digital Media Award. Other notable occurrences include things like; Senator David Norris writing an article for us, being linked to from The Guardian, having over 200 contributors, increasing our views every month since January 2015… and being featured on Irish Tech News 🙂

What type of people (market segment) are you trying to attract to your product?

We are looking for curious people, people who want to read something worthwhile and maybe invest a little more time to get something more meaningful out of an article. In terms of sponsors we’re looking for relevant businesses who are interested in the same subjects as us and whose core values we can stand behind.

Me and Matt

Tell us about your team? 

I’m Alan, I started HeadStuff on a lonely Saturday night, almost by mistake. Soon after that I met Adam Shannon at a mutual friend’s birthday, and he told me he could make the site better. I didn’t believe him, but I let him do it anyway and he was so right. He’s the web master/engineer. Then Matt Mahon gave out to me for my poor design choices and he told me he could make the site look better and be easier to navigate. I was skeptical, but I let him do it and he was so right. Now he’s head of design and innovation. Jonni Bissel came along and is our web developer. Each section has an editor, and they are all brilliant: Film – Peter H. Morris, Music – Dave Hanratty, Humour – Alan Maguire, Science – Neasa McGarrigle, Literature – Noel O’Regan, PoetryStuff – Alvy Carragher, Visual – Aoife Flynn,  Topical – Louisa McGrath, and we’re in the process of finding a new history editor, but Ciaran Conliffe did a great job up until now. Paddy and Mick are junior editors and deal with social media, they’re great lads. On top of that we have a huge team of excellent writers and they’re all as wonderful and important as each other. There are no more lonely Saturday nights.

What are you long term plans for your product / company?

First we want to be the biggest and best site in Ireland for cultural media. We want to be involved in, and start, conversations. We will get better and better attracting more writers and more readers. We will pay all of our contributors for their work and we aim to be a globally recognised and respected website. We have plans for other sites and events.

What are your favourite tech gadgets?

Good question. I’m fascinated by pretty much every gadget I ever see and by every new technology that comes out. But what defines a ‘favourite’? Does it have to be something I use? If not, I would say that the International Space Station is a pretty sweet gadget. Or is a gadget smaller than that? I don’t know… the most useful gadget I own is undoubtedly my iPhone 5. It goes everywhere with me and organises most of my life, keeps most of my friends, keeps me informed and unbored. (I like to make up words).

What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?

I wish I could use the ‘Bend Space-Time Wristwatch’ but I can’t because I just made it up. Not the details of its engineering, just the concept, so I wouldn’t know where to start. It would be nice though. But it doesn’t exist.

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