A new chapter for WhereBy.Us
We are thrilled to announce that we’re launching The Evergrey, a local media project in Seattle.
Nearly two years ago, with a few months of preparation and a huge tray of Knaus Berry cinnamon rolls that Rebekah Monson hauled to my apartment our office, Bruce Pinchbeck, Rebekah, and I launched The New Tropic.
Before we launched, We did our homework, designing a deep research process to understand our community and the opportunity we saw to serve it. (That process became a core foundation of our business and our community.) We vetted financial models, gathered advisors, and secured a bit of funding. But nothing tests your assumptions like a sudden impact with the real world.
Fortunately, somewhere between exploring Miami’s dive bars, diving into transit policy, and running Pitbull for Mayor, The New Tropic started to catch on. A hot minute later, we have a community of 30,000 amazing humans who spend time with us every day. Led by Ariel Zirulnick and Roshan Nebhrajani, The New Tropic is making unique local journalism on everything from ballot initiatives to the best bars in Hialeah.
We have a growing business model that eschews traditional advertising and the breathless hunt for pageviews in favor of creative storytelling, audience insights, and engagement with real people. Now, we’re headed to new places, starting in Seattle. (We wanted the longest domestic flight available. We’re really into AAdvantage miles.)
Anika Anand and Monica Guzman will lead The Evergrey (here’s their rundown on what they’re doing and how they got here). They are dedicated Seattleites, and two of the best leaders on community engagement, local journalism, and product thinking in the country. During the past few months, we’ve worked with them to research, design, and beta test The Evergrey with a small community of leading locals. Today, they go public with their first product, a daily newsletter. More is on the way.
On its face, The Evergrey looks and feels like a sibling to The New Tropic. That’s intentional. In Seattle, in Miami and around the world, cities are in a shared moment of growth and transformation that lays the foundation for building community and experimenting with new models for local media. Cities are unique. Each one is filled with passionate, curious locals with big ideas and the heart to make them happen. Through those communities, our cities innovate. Our cities solve problems. The stories of our cities become the stories of our world. At WhereBy.Us, we’re building tools, technology and a deep understanding of the next generation of local leaders to tell their stories in new ways.
WhereBy.Us started as a side hustle, with the three of us organizing small community design-thinking events packed with post-its and Play-Doh. As we built The New Tropic, we kept the WhereBy.Us name in the background. But it’s the foundation of everything we do — a bunch of nerds exploring, creating, and trying to make a difference where we live. We’ve grown from three full-time employees to 13, built a creative agency that helps brands big and small with local engagement, and developed technology to support new kinds of local engagement through media.
In the coming months, we’ll have plenty more to share about how we’re growing and where we’re going. But no announcement about our company’s future would be complete without acknowledging how much we’ve relied on the kind, smart people surrounding us. Our national reverence of entrepreneurship favors lone founders on magazine covers and stories of gruff geniuses who fight the odds alone. Entrepreneurship is a loosely organized series of mistakes. It’s about learning, listening, and trying new things. And it is impossible without people. It is impossible without the partners, friends, advisors, investors, colleagues, and taco delivery people who keep you running. It is impossible without a community — people who invest their valuable time and attention and who show us how to be useful every day. So, for all of The New Tropic fam and for our earliest adopters of The Evergrey, we appreciate you, we’re here for you, and we want to keep hearing from you.
-Chris, Bruce, Rebekah, and the whole WhereBy.Us team