[Disclaimer: Theresa Carter, founder of The Local Tourist LLC, is my fiancée. I love her and I am in love with her. But more than that I both admire and am very proud of her and her success. Read on and you’ll see why. These thoughts are my own.]
I was perusing Facebook today and came on a “suggested post” (the screenshot you see here) by Sosh Chicago. It’s a pretty obvious salvo launched at The Local Tourist, whose company tagline is “Experience the fascination of a tourist; Feel the comfort of the local”. I saw that and thought to myself “She’s being recognized for her success!”. That may seem a little odd to you at first, but let me explain.
Who the Players Are
If you haven’t heard of Sosh Chicago yet, I wouldn’t be surprised. They first came to my attention about a month or so ago, when I saw they launched for Chicago. So I did a little research and by little, I mean I looked them up on CrunchBase. They’re based in San Francisco, CA, started in 2010. They have $16.30M in funding and “…Sosh is being built by Offline Labs, a stealthy startup founded by former Google and Slide employees.”. In other words, they’re very smart, they’ve got a lot of money and they can afford to move very quickly into a new market.
On the other hand, The Local Tourist started as an online business directory for the River North neighborhood in 2002 on a nonexistent budget. That’s not long after Theresa moved to Chicago and saw the need and saw she could fill it. Over the past 12 years, it’s grown organically to include all of Chicago by neighborhood and everything that’s happening in Chicago that you would want to know about. For most of those years, Theresa was the IT team, the Editorial staff, Sales staff and the Writing and Photography staff. While a good part of that has changed in the past few years, the Local Tourist still runs on a bootstrap budget.
While this does have a ‘David and Goliath’ element to it, that is not the point, by far.
Why This Shows Success
So what do you do when you have the team, you have the funding, you basically have everything in a new area but the market share? You do what I like to call ‘the young gun in town’. You’ve seen it in most Westerns. The young gun finds out who the best gun in town is and puts them on notice, the “I’m gunnin’ for ya” approach. And if the young gun is really smart, they figure out who the real best gun in town is, not just the one with a reputation.
I don’t know about you, but if I was looking for a team to tell me who has the best market share in town when it comes to a web presence, a team of former Google employees would be exactly the group I’d want. And who did they find? The web arm of a National Media outlet? Nope, the home town, organically grown, bootstrap media outlet, The Local Tourist. That says success in my book.
So as a supporter of The Local Tourist and its success, I’d like to say thank you to Sosh Chicago for the compliment and kudos, but more than that thank you for taking time to research and find out what The Local Tourist is truly all about; The best Chicago has to offer.