Cards Against Humanity will remain the most exciting company in media.
In the past year, the group behind the “party game for horrible people” has:
- launched a “boring new business company” that helps independent creators sell and ship their stuff directly to audiences, “without publishers or other bloodsucking middlemen taking most of the money.”
- created a podcast cooperative that connects local companies to local podcasts in Chicago, in addition to making several of their own podcasts.
- partnered with Chicago’s public radio station WBEZ to make the 150,000 people who signed up for “Eight Sensible Gifts for Hannukah” members of the station for a full year. (And sent out a note to those 150,000 people explaining the importance of funding public media.)
- launched a live event series which included an aldermanic candidates debate moderated by a WBEZ political reporter and live tapings of WBEZ’s Nerdette podcast
- made $71,000 by selling absolutely nothing on Black Friday.
- started a coworking space in their offices designed to foster creativity and collaboration with people who work outside of their industry.
I’m watching them experiment on Twitch and with podcasts and live events in a way that gets people excited, builds a fan base and community, and makes people more invested in their own communities. I’m watching them partner with news organizations in Chicago in a way that’s original, authentic, and fun. They’re smart, they’re independent, they make money despite releasing their entire product online for free — and they’re building something much larger than a late night party game.
I suspect 2016 will be an even bigger year for them, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do.