January 13, 2006

dogster.com - Great internet success story

You just have to love this story (from www.techcrunch.com):

Dogster Turns Two
Posted by Michael Arrington | Discussion: 4 comments
Dogster, led by founder and CEO Ted Rheingold, turned two years old yesterday. The company is located in San Francisco.

Dogster is a home page site just for dogs. You can see the page for my dog, Laguna, here as an example. A key part of the site is social interaction among dogs, and Laguna has a number of “friends” that are linked on the page. Dogster also allows tagging of photos, and has just launched a Groups feature (there are already 239 Groups) In general, humans do not interact and you do not know who the dogs’ owners are. For a lot of dog-crazy owners, this is perfect.

Needless to say, Dogster has some pretty loyal users, and the site statistics reflect this:

Total human members: 153,000+
Total pet pages: 185,000 (130k dogs, 55k cats)
Average new pet pages per day: 525
Page serves December 2005: 10,100,000
Total photos on the site: 750,000
Distinct friend-to-friend connections: 5,030,000
Virtual treats givens: 7,079,000
Total forum postings: 232,000 (1,500 new posts a day)
Total pet diaries: 28,000+
The story of Dogster is great, too. Ted was out of work and taking odd jobs here and there, and decided to just follow a dream and create the site. Within 3 months the site was cash flow positive and by month 18 Dogster was profitable. The company never raised outside funds other than from friends and family

Dogster generates revenue from premium accounts ($20 per year), advertising, and sponsorships both on the side and for things like “The World’s Coolest Dog and Cat Show“, which was sponsored by Target, Nintendo and others. The show, by the way, had 20,000 entrants and over 1,000,000 total votes.

Catster (launched in June 2004) is Dogster’s sister site, but I hate cats and refuse to write about it.

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