Designer News 2.0

You Won’t Believe Which Website This Millennial Entrepreneur Bought. Really Makes You Think…

A couple months ago, I read the sad news that LayerVault was shutting down. We’re big fans of the LayerVault over at MetaLab, and I’ve been an avid reader of Designer News since the beginning, so it was a bit of a bummer.

When I heard the news, I reached out to Kelly Sutton, LayerVault’s CEO, to find out what was happening to Designer News. I knew that it had always been secondary to LayerVault, as it was originally envisioned as a way to drive new customers to their product, and I was worried it might get shuttered. I expressed interest in buying it, made an offer, and I’m happy to report that as of today, I’m the proud new publisher of Designer News.

For those of you who don’t know me, hi, my name is Andrew and I’m a designer. Back in 2006, I started making websites out of my apartment, usually wearing my underwear. I realized that I could charge more if I pretended to be a legitimate company, so I came up with the name MetaLab, and managed to get some contracts working with startups. Over the past 9 years, MetaLab has gone from me in my apartment to a team of almost 100 people across three companies. We’ve worked with companies like Apple, Google, and Disney, as well as tons of startups, big and small. Most recently, we designed Slack.

Over the years, I’ve also started a bunch of side businesses that I spun out of MetaLab, most notably Pixel Union and Flow. Through all this, I’ve never taken a dime from investors, opting to stay independent and focus on building something great for the longterm.

What’s next?

Designer News is awesome as it is, so I don’t plan to make any radical changes. I have a list of small tweaks and improvements like better spam detection and additional categories, but otherwise I’m looking to you guys to help me set the course. I would love to hear your ideas: feel free to email me anytime at andrew@metalab.co or tweet at me.

LayerVault raised money from venture capitalists, so Designer News never had to stand on its own as a business. In fact, it costs thousands of dollars per month, so technically it’s been in the red for a long time. You may not know my story, but that’s not my style. I build sustainable longterm businesses, and that means it’s time for Designer News to grow up, move out of mom and dad’s house, and start paying its own bills.

Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean I’ll be covering the site in obnoxious pop-unders, or background takeovers. I’m working with a handful of great companies that make products specifically for designers on some simple, understated sponsorships (think Dribbble not The Huffington Post).

Designer News will always be reachable at news.layervault.com, but we’ve purchased DesignerNews.co and will be moving it over shortly. If anyone has the .com up their sleeve and wants to sell it to me, get in touch.

I couldn’t be more excited about this. Looking forward to hearing from everyone and continuing to grow the Designer News community. Like I said, feel free to email me or tweet at me if you have any ideas or feedback :-)

-Andrew

Follow me on Twitter at @awilkinson