Bio & Background, Thoughts & Theories, Ideas & Insights, Content & Concepts, Projects & Programs… (and an awful alliteration addiction!)
Jeff Goldblatt is an Atlanta-based entrepreneur and startup founder, advisor, investor, and thinker with 10+ years experience with various B2C startups (and an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School). As creator of The Rejection Hotline® (and numerous other viral ventures that have engaged audiences of millions!), he has become a nationally-recognized authority on viral media and content creation — see below for a sample.
[NOTE: Jeff fully admits he is writing this page himself (in the super-awkward third-person point of view), but click here for an AJC article that is a good unbiased business summary of his first big startup success.]
Jeff’s 10+ Years of Creating “Viral Whatever”
ANNUAL VIRAL HIGHLIGHTS:
2001: AskTheCollegeGuy.com — an online advice/humor column that “went viral” (before Jeff even knew what “viral” meant) and developed a loyal following of online readers on 739 college campuses, received millions of page views, and was syndicated in several college newspapers as large as The Centre Daily Times at Penn State…
2002: The Rejection Hotline® — created as a joke in 2001, the humorous fake phone number service took off virally in 2002 (thanks to word-of-mouth buzz and mainstream media coverage by CNN, the LA Times, and much more). It would go on to average more than 1 Million Calls Per Month for the next 10+ years… ***
2003: Just Thought You Should Know — a collection of email generators (and phone numbers/messages) notifying people of something they might not be aware of (bad breath, body odor, stuff in their teeth, etc.). In particular, the Bad Breath Notification phone number struck a nerve, went viral, and received more than 20 Million Phone Calls itself… ***
2004: It Could Always Suck More® — with just the right mix of serious inspiration/motivation and edgy humor, the trademarked phrase resonated with the masses, initially going viral via a Humor Hotline (25+ Million calls), but demonstrated additional viral/brand appeal selling 10,000+ “It Could Always Suck More” wristbands. ***
2005: Screen Numbers — Recognizing a need for secondary phone numbers (for dating, business, CraigsList, etc.), I haphazardly launched ScreenNumber.com in 2005. Despite decent traction (~10,000 users), it was unfortunately never made a top priority. On Sept. 25, 2006, a company named Grand Central launched the same service (11 months after us). Admittedly, they did it better. But it still stung a year later when Google bought them for $95 MILLION and it became Google Voice :)
2006: SnapVine — I had begun speaking at conferences as a Creativity and Viral Marketing expert and I was approached by the CEO of a startup in Seattle (bringing VoIP to Social Media) to be their interim Creative Director as they sought Product-Market Fit. We found it, scaled the product virally, and SnapVine was acquired by WhitePages.com in 2008 for ~$20 Million.
2007: Get Over It Day ® (GOID) — A goofy idea (to create a national holiday?!), but the core idea (that EVERYONE has SOMETHING to get over) resonated with the masses and we received thousands of emails from people telling us what they needed to get over, there were events across the country, national brands offered Get Over It Day specials, and Get Over It Day was announced to the world by Good Morning America, The Today Show, ESPN SportsCenter and more! ***
2008–2012: Humor Hotlines (RH Brands) — After firing myself as CEO of my own company, bringing on a business partner, raising ~$1 Million in funding and figuring out the “in-call audio advertising” business model, all my other ideas/projects were put aside and we had a great run (4+ profitable years of 7-figure revenue, 200+ Humor Hotlines, 475 Million calls), until…***
2013: After Verizon and AT&T made some big changes to the mobile content industry (our main advertisers), we were unable to pivot successfully, and we made the difficult decision to shut the company down — laying off our employees, and selling off our 2000+ phone numbers. [Note: I personally bought back all unsold assets — including The Rejection Hotline and all Humor Hotlines’ audio files — some of which will be re-launched as part of The Whatever Network.]
2014: I moved into the Atlanta Tech Village and, while investing in and advising a few younger entrepreneurs, I THOUGHT I had decided that Prediction Log would be my next full-time startup (the idea being that predictions are everywhere, yet there is no central location to officially log predictions, so there is a permanent record and “Proof that you called it!” (B2C = User-generated content & freemium models / B2B = users/data and/or SaaS models). I still believe there is a good business opportunity here; BUT, after 6 months development and a moderately-successful semi-private beta test (~300 users, ~500 predictions), I hit the pause button after a few big epiphanies ***
2015: I (finally) took a good hard look at who I am as an entrepreneur (www.IamNOTaCEO.com!), my strengths, my weaknesses, where I’ve been successful, where I’ve missed opportunities, when I’ve felt inspired, when I’ve felt burned out. And I (finally) took the time to process the many lessons I’ve learned from the last ~15 years. I then allowed myself to step back and really embrace my “entrepreneurial A.D.D.” — and I spent almost the entire year going down every “rabbit hole” and exploring/re-exploring EVERY IDEA I’VE EVER HAD!
2016 and Beyond:
“The Whatever Network” — Big startup ideas, small niche ideas, new launches, old re-launches, fully-functional MVPs, 1-page exec summaries, products, services, programs, social movements and more! I plan to put 100+ IDEAS out there (in conjunction with launching various “Startup Whatever” programs to assist me in finding great people to work with — including partners and co-founders!) and, well, I guess we’ll just see what happens!!! ***