With its pink and white color scheme and emphasis on self expression, Pinterest has found a rapidly growing audience of women, and investors are lining up. But guys might not find content for them on Pinterest’s home page. Hell, even its Cars & Motorcycles channel is filled with hot pink Hummer limos. Enter WhereIsTheCool.com, a black and red site of photos showing off the lifestyle men aspire to — speed boats, surfboards, and slick tuxedos. It’s designed for laid-back browsing like a men’s style magazine, rather than something you have invest time in like a girlfriend.
Originally, founder Jack Archer (even his name is stylish) tried to translate GQ into a iPad magazine with monthly editions. Turns out the market wasn’t ready for an all digital mag in 2010, so he redesigned it as a photostream website that constantly updates. This feeds the content addiction of the modern man, and now the site has over a million page views a month and 27,000+ Tumblr subscribers.
Where Is The Cool’s home page displays roughly 20 penthouse apartments, rugged actors, and the women those come with. Another page of what’s crave-worthy is a click away. An infinite scroll option would be faster, but so much vivid content could get overwhelming. Visitors can click through the photos to view them full size, share them through social media, and check out where they were first posted. That’s it, no flashy tech, just good taste and good design.
Archer has it tough. His job is to scour the internet for what’s cool, and sift it out of user submissions. The “Contribute” page features an ugly, old-school web form that should really just let you enter URLs of photos, as most entries on the site don’t include any text. While he’s got a team providing support, its essentially a one-man, bootstrapped operation.
To monetize, Archer sprinkles in the occasional sponsored photo from men’s fashion retailers like Mr. Porter whose products could just as easily hit the site organically. Where Is The Cool has also signed big buys for banner ads with brands like Land Rover and Banana Republic.
Even if its visitors can’t afford the fighter jets or vacation home it shows, just activating desire for such objects can be a satisfying, masculine experience. In a culture of men lusting for distraction, Where Is The Cool wins with simplicity.