Arianna Huffington officially launches her new web venture: Thrive Global
The new well-being media property opens with a long list of partnerships, including plenty of corporate brands, as well as media properties such as the NYT’s T-Brand studio
The Huffington Post this is definitely not. Thrive Global, Arianna Huffington’s latest venture, is more a throwback to someone’s idea of New Age self-help. It wouldn’t stand a chance of surviving long were it not for the acumen of Huffington herself, who has lined up a laundry list of launch partners and corporate sponsors.
So, who knows?
“Today is our official launch day,” the founder’s website says in the lead post on the site. “We are at an inflection point in history where technology has granted us powers that accelerate the speed of life beyond our capacity to cope. We’re more aware than ever that this way of living leaves us depleted, distracted and unfulfilled. Thrive Global is born in response to the need to take control of our lives, offering new strategies and tools, based on the latest science, to address the unintended consequences of these profound and invasive changes.”
I find this kind of talk positively cringeworthy, but I’m obviously not the target audience.
In fact, I think the target audience may be Arianna Huffington herself. Her column seems to be a sort of self-confession about the struggles of work, technology and well-being.
“Thrive Global is based on the truth that work and life, well-being and productivity, are not on opposite sides — so they don’t need to be balanced. They’re on the same side, and rise in tandem. Increase one and you increase the other. So there’s nothing to balance — increasing well-being and the productivity that goes along with it is a win-win, for work and life,” Huffington writes.
The press release for the new website breaks all records for length: 5,042 to be exact.
It is obvious that Huffington has throw together all the things she learned or did at the HuffPost into the new company: international, corporate and non-profit partnerships, technology tools, a commerce platform, a pop-up store, media partners, etc. It will be a lot to manage. So much so that one worries that Arianna Huffington can strike a work-life balance (yes, that’s snark).
Thrive Global is working with The New York Times’s in-house brand marketing unit, T- Brand studio, on native advertising for the site’s ad partners, and the media platform includes (I’m not making this up) “a six week e-course, hosted by Arianna Huffington, which helps consumers move from surviving to thriving by using scientifically proven methods to decrease stress and burnout and improve overall health, performance and happiness.” Sounds like fun.
Arianna Huffington's new website, dedicate to sleeping, sells a $100 bed for your phone to rest on. pic.twitter.com/dekTmEExtI
— Joe Perticone (@JoePerticone) November 30, 2016
Huffington’s track record on the web is, of course, impressive. After being launched as a news aggregation website in 2005, a liberal alternative to The Drudge Report (and only somewhat better designed), the site within a decade became the number one political website based on traffic. In 2011, the HuffPost was acquired by AOL (which itself was acquired by Verizon last summer).
The HuffPost was successful in getting investment early on, making its for $315 million sale to AOL pretty profitable for the investors and Arianna Huffington.
Note: The new website was launched on Medium, which accounts for its minimalistic design – a design trend which I hope one goes away, but I know is popular with young techies (who, I assume, don’t like the idea of hiring designers.)