By Mathew Ingram, Fortune
As the media landscape continues to shift and buckle under the stress of digital disruption, the marketplace has started to look like a little like a barbell. On one end are large players, seeking massive scale at any cost. On the other end are small sites trying to build a business by being hyper-focused on a specific audience.
The Information, a technology-news site started by formerWall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin in 2013, clearly falls into the latter category. Until recently there were only six writers, and the site posts one or two stories a day, instead of the hundreds that larger sites publish.
Unlike BuzzFeed or the New York Times, where readership is measured in the hundreds of millions, The Information’s audience is measured in the single-digit thousands. But Lessin said in a recent interview with Fortune that her company has proven there is a profitable business to be built even at that scale, and she is busy expanding its reach into new markets.
“We’ve been cash-flow positive for awhile now,” said Lessin, “which is a sign that the business is healthy, and there’s a lot of demand for what we do. But I’m really excited by the business and the potential to expand what we’re doing, so we’re not focused on being profitable right now.”
The key to her site’s success, The Information founder said, is that it isn’t shackled to the advertising treadmill the way most traditional media companies are—something that requires the pursuit of massive scale, and prioritizes traffic and clicks above everything else.