A few years ago, two friends James Engelsman and Kyle Trattner founded http://www.TICKLD.com, a website & community that will make you laugh with each post you see and cure any case of boredom you may have.
The website, which started off small, has grown to millions of viewers over the years, helping people who post items go viral, and brings together a community of clever contributors and celebrity fans such as Kat Dennings, Stephen Fry, Wes Craven and Maisie Williams.
The Levity Ball sat down with Tickld’s James and Kyle to learn more about how these two have taken over the world wide web…
When did you first “know” that you wanted to get into the online industry and create TICKLD.com?
Kyle: My co-founder James and I spent the vast majority of our leisure time at university consuming content on the Internet. We often discussed ways our favourite websites could improve their substance and functionality. We built Tickld, and within a couple weeks I found myself spending many enjoyable hours developing for the Site instead of reading judgments and legislation in preparation for tutorials. James, throughout university, didn’t own a single pen! He lived on his laptop. The Internet, and Tickld specifically, became our calling.
We love the name! What is the meaning behind it?
Kyle: The name is the result of an epic two-week long search for the perfect domain name. Without a word of a lie, Skype became a permanent window into the other’s dorm room and we steadily suggested to each other one available domain name after another. After two weeks and a couple hundred “nos” we stumbled upon “tickld” and knew we had something special.
Kyle: I’ve always admired entrepreneurs, authors and artists who went from zero to hero like the fantastic JK Rowling, the charismatic Richard Branson and the incomparable Douglas Adams.
James: Carl Sagan. He was the embodiment of pure goodness and all he wanted was for humanity to reach its full potential.
What has been the hardest thing you’ve gone through since starting your online website?
Kyle: There have been many challenges, but nothing more difficult than the personal sacrifices we’ve had to make since starting Tickld. As the website has grown in popularity, the Tickld Team hasn’t grown very much; however, our responsibilities have grown exponentially. We both have 100 hour work weeks and we’ve regrettably allowed a few friendships to slide in favour of Tickld.
We’ve seen a lot of posts featured on your website before making their way to sites like FunnyOrDie.com… How do you feel about other sites copying your content?
James: We encourage our users to create and share original content. We have a strong community of content creators who pride themselves on their inventiveness. We’re thrilled that Tickld has an ever-growing reputation for being an originator of some of the best, most creative and entertaining content on the Internet today.
What do you feel sets your site a part from others?
Kyle: The community. The Ticklrs (the name given to a member of the Tickld community) are an absolutely fantastic crowd. They’re welcoming, creative, intelligent, funny and they’re on a singular mission to bring a daily bit of sunshine into the lives of all those who visit and participate on the Site.
What does the future hold for TICKLD.com?
Kyle: We’re in the midst of building fantastic mobile tools that will allow our users to create even more engaging content.
James: We hope to attract new audiences as we expand our offerings and broaden our appeal.
What is your advice to others looking at creating a website and having it get as viral as yours?
ames: To start small, but to have the potential to succeed at vast scale.
Kyle: It’s been three years of non-stop effort to build Tickld to its current size. On day one we knew Tickld had the potential for mass appeal; however, it was initially marketed to a small demographic of English university students before its expansion into the United States, Canada, Australia and elsewhere. Our infrastructure and codebase is constantly evolving as well as our needs change and feedback from our community rolls in.
What would you like to be remembered for as a person?
Kyle: For being good to others.
Who is the last person to have “tickld” you?
Kyle: I’ve been listening to Amy Poehler’s audiobook Yes Please. I honestly don’t mind the strange looks I get on the subway when I laugh out loud.