Chapter 1From Tired to Inspired

LIKE A MILLION OTHER HOPEFULS, BEN POPKEN ARRIVED IN NEW YORK ON A GREYHOUND BUS FROM HIS NATIVE DENVER AND GRABBED THE FIRST AVAILABLE JOB—BICYCLE MESSENGER. SURVIVING MANHATTAN’S BRUTAL TRAFFIC, HE EARNED ENOUGH TO BUY A DECENT SUIT AND SNAG A SAFER JOB—GOFER AT AN ONLINE MARKETING FIRM. IN HIS SPARE TIME, HE WROTE ONLINE SATIRES OF FOOLISH ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.

In 2006, Popken posted his barbs at Consumerist.com, which carries the tagline “Shoppers Bite Back.” He impressed Nick Denton, the blog tycoon who runs Gawker Media, and owner of Consumerist. Denton quickly hired Popken as Consumerist’s editor.

Under Popken’s direction, Consumerist has become a powerhouse. Each day, it showcases approximately 30 new ...

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