Mike Rothman and Simon Isaacs met through a mutual friend after each had spent 12 years, respectively, in digital media and the non-profit space. Mike was a founding employee at Thrillist, a digital lifestyle guide for young, single guys. After seven years building the company into a $50 million revenue business, he noticed that those young, single guys weren’t as young and single as they were before and were now settling down and starting families, without access to the same media resources as the women in their lives. At the same time, Mike had also recently become Chairman of an organization called Career Gear, which helps men coming out of poverty, prison and substance abuse re-insert themselves into their families and communities.
Meanwhile, Simon was expecting his first child and felt personally frustrated that there weren’t any digital media resources geared towards him and his experience as a father-to-be. He had dedicated his career to cause marketing work with the Clinton Foundation and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among others, and found himself in the new position of being the champion of his own cause. With a penchant for Power Point presentations, Simon set to work on sketching out initial ideas of what a parenting destination geared towards men would look like.
Mike and Simon met and began collaborating on an initial prototype in the form of a weekly email newsletter. Within months, they had developed a cult following and based on that initial traction, raised a round of seed financing from top institutional investors on the premise of building the pre-eminent digital media company for this next generation of parents, in which both parents shared more daily responsibilities and purchase decisions than before. After a year, Fatherly has become the fastest-growing parenting company on the web with expert-driven insights from a variety of top experts—everyone from the Chief Technology Officer of the USA on how to get your kids into STEM, to a master architect on how to build an epic pillow fort, to even Malala Yousafzai and her dad about how to raise a Nobel Peace Prize winner.