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Secret Academy Episode - Patrick Lee

Patrick Lee co-founded Rotten Tomatoes, a leading entertainment website directory focused on films and movies, in 1998, and sold it in 2004 to IGN for $10M. Rotten Tomatoes is one of the top 500 most trafficked sites in the world. Patrick is also the co-founder and former CEO of Design Reactor, an internet marketing firm focused on the entertainment industry. Patrick’s current focus is Hobo Labs, which he co-founded with Lyle Fong, and is a stealth mobile gaming company which raised over $4M from investors. Patrick is currently an advisor for countless technology and gaming startups. He was also named #55 on Bizzabo's list of "The 100 Most Wanted Speakers at Tech Conferences".

Lesson's in Today's Interview:
  • What made Rotten Tomatoes such a success in the early days of the internet.
  • How using reviews from known critics was the pivotal point to sky rocket Rotten Tomatoes as a trusted movie review site.
  • Who were the first Rotten Tomatoes members after the founding team.
  • How the founding team dealt with hardship after the dot com bubble burst in the early 2000s.
  • What was the hardest part to scale such a niche site like Rotten Tomatoes.
  • How the founding team focused on traffic, brand, and revenue to grow the Rotten Tomatoes after the dot com bubble burst.
  • How creating new features on the site brought more organic traffic through movie studios.
  • What the revenue strategy was to grow Rotten Tomatoes.
  • How SEO helped Rotten Tomatoes be a top resource in the movie critic niche.
  • How Rotten Tomatoes worked with ticket providers like Fandango and Movie Tickets helped the site grow organically.
  • What would be Patrick’s approach if he were to create a review site today.
  • Patrick’s best advice to someone who wants to create a movie review site to compete with Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Why Flickstr became such a sensation piggybacking off Facebook and mobile device growth and how they were able to buy Rotten Tomatoes.
  • How anticipating a new trend can give you the upper hand in any industry.
  • Why Patrick joined the mobile gaming industry and separated himself from movie critiques.
  • How Patrick’s previous and current companies all correlate with the entertainment industry.
  • Why Patrick creates his companies for fun and passion rather than looking to make more money.
  • How Patrick’s perspective changed after building a successful company like Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Why he has always valued time over money, and how making money can buy your time back.
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