Next to Reddit the only other site that geeks and nerds love as much is Hacker News.
Similar to Reddit it is a regular haunt of geeks and nerds who enjoy sharing the interesting bits of news; and thought, that they find on the web. Just as the members of Reddit are passionate and loyal to their favorite site so are the folks that hang out over Hacker News.
Lim Cheng Soon is one of those people but with a true entrepreneur’s spirit he found a really great way to take his passion for Hacker News, add some value to it and make a business out of it.
You see Lim, like most of the fans of Hacker News, a the type of people who constantly have to deal with information overload but don’t want to miss anything that is happening by going offline. With this thought in mind Lim started gathering up some of the most popular posts from the sites and put them into a magazine called Hacker Monthly.
In this day and age of people being constantly connected and never being out of touch of what is happening in the world you would think that the last thing that would go over well would be a ‘magazine’, let alone a monthly one. Well in this case it has worked and worked well because Lim has been able to make the magazine his fulltime job with a desirable product that attracts advertisers, subscribers, and make money.
Twenty-one issues later, the magazine has about 4,700 subscribers worldwide, Lim said. Annual subscriptions cost $88 for the print edition or $29 for the digital .mobi/.epub/.pdf bundle. Only five percent of subscribers get the print version, he said, but that’s still a tidy sum of about $20,000 on top of an estimated $130,000 in subscriptions per year. He also sells full-page ads.
Not only is able to pay himself but the project is doing so well that he is able to pay for a graphic artist and hire two copy editors. Every article in Hacker Monthly is hand-selected, any needed editing is done, and set for the page. To be an article that is included in the magazine the post must have gotten more than 100 votes on Hacker News as well as satisfying the ethos that Lim has set for Hacker Monthly: “anything that gratifies one’s intellectual curiousity”.