2013: Year In Review

If you think about it, every year develops a character, or theme of its own depending upon objectives we’ve set, choices we’ve made and unexpected events that occurred along the way.

SJSUvsStanford-2013On the personal side, 2013 was driven by a few new beginnings for me; getting married this past spring, moving to Los Gatos after 14 years in Scotts Valley and three of my kids starting their freshman year of high school.

It has been a busy year, but I managed to see more college games than I did in 2012 and I look forward to closing out the year with some big bowl games.

On the professional side, 2013 was all about execution. Here are some Wanderful Media highlights from this past year:

  • We reimagined the Find&Save web experience and launched FindnSave.com. We also expanded to 470 newspaper sites. Our audience has grown by 40% in combined engagement and visitors in the last 60 days alone. We still have a few major improvements up our sleeve, but the web is just the foundation.
  • We launched our iPad app 60 days ago; it now makes up 10% of our audience and is growing faster than the web by far. It’s not unlikely that it will reach 50% in the near future. The iPad app is still in its early stage and we have to begin to build distribution for it. But given that engagement is four times than what it is on the web, it has the potential to change consumer behavior in a big way.


  • A few weeks ago we launched our first iPhone app in the App Store. According to Greg Sterling’s article on Screenwerk, “Find&Save offers what may well be the best overall shopping app/experience online – period.” We have more work left to do to perfect this app even more, have two more consumer apps in design and our local merchant app at the conceptual stage.
  • We renovated a historic building in Downtown Chico to design a Silicon Valley-styled workplace for our development and production office. We’ve already had great support from the community with successful events, and even won the area’s Tech Company of the Year award from Innovate Northstate.

ChicoOffice-BartSpeakingBy the end of 2014, we hope to fundamentally change consumer behavior, and just as importantly, create a set of advertising options for retailers that don’t exist today. When we put our apps in the hands of 50MM consumers, it will have the consumer purchase power that circulars have had historically. 

We see a path to building a much larger, more targeted and more engaged audience than all of the combined printed “circular like” vehicles over the next five years. Our investors will own something that touches more consumers, more deeply than the 100 plus-year-old circular business.

When all is said and done, I’m excited about the road ahead and optimistic for another successful year in 2014.

Roll Tide!

About Ben T. Smith, IV

Founder of, investor in and advisor to technology and media companies
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