It all started with a tweet.

February 16, 2012 · 83 comments

I think many of you might be disappointed with today’s announcement. Y’all seemed to set some pretty high expectations ranging from; we’re having a kid or buying a house, to I’m getting a Reality TV series. Sadly, no one has come knocking on my door with a camera, and Girl Ninja is definitely not knocked up. I’m still excited to share today’s post with you, but am now wondering if the hype was built up so much you’re going to be like “Oh, that’s it?” Please pretend to be excited, even if you really aren’t :) Let’s get on with it….

I’ve wanted to do something risky for a long time now, but could never come up with a decent project or idea. I wasn’t about to just start a business for the sake of starting a business. If I was going to create something, it had to be EPIC.

So September 2011 rolls around and I’m hearing from all of Girl Ninja’s friends, “Pinterest this and Pinterest that”. It’s borderline disgusting how addicted some people are to the website. I decided to poke around and see what the hype was all about. If you’re a dude, let me spare you now. Pinterest is about wedding dresses, kittens, cookies, flowers, and shabby chic home decor. Not exactly things I’m interested in.

Pinterest was not the first image bookmarking site to hit the internet, but it’s obviously become the most popular. In fact, I asked GN if she had to give up her Facebook page or her Pinterest page which one she’d toss. Without a second of hesitation she said she’d kick FB to the curb. Homegirl is serious about pinning pretty things.

I started doing some research and learned that 80% of Pinterest users are female. I went to Juxtapost, We Heart It, Piccsy, and a million other image bookmarking sites. They all had the same thing in common; female domination.

So Pinterest is one of the fastest growing websites in internet history, but it’s seriously struggling to represent half of the human race. Looks like I just found my business venture. I bought MANteresting.com for $10 on September 15th and was determined to make something great.

I made some phone calls, spoke with some developers and found out it could take up to a year to build a Pinterest-like site, and would likely cost me upwards of $10,000. HOLY CRAP THAT’S A LOT OF MONEY.

I was discouraged, but over the next few days I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. Reading. Researching. Finding post after post complaining about a lack of male representation on Pinterest. This market was begging for someone to come and fill the void.

I reached out to my friend Jesse Michelsen who has some serious coding skills and pitched the idea (along with the crappy template you see on the left) to him. Fortunately he saw the potential and agreed to partner up with me to make this idea a reality. I was elated.

For the last five months, we’ve put hundreds of hours and THOUSANDS of dollars in to making this thing not suck. We even hired two developers to help us through the process.

We were the first male focused image bookmarking site to hit the internet (went live for alpha testing in November 2011), and today, February 16th, we can finally open our doors to the general public for Beta testing!

I’m so nervous I could fart. Today, I find out if this 5-month journey was one worth taking. I’m convinced there is a marketplace for MANteresting, but you (the users) will ultimately be the judge of that. It’s both scary and exciting to have so little control over the future of it.

Now is the part where I beg you for support…

I try my very best to entertain you all five times a week. Not only with stick figure drawings, but material that will hopefully challenge, inspire, or at least get you thinking about your personal finances. I make sure I don’t waste your time with spammy articles or annoying product reviews. I don’t have pop ups jumping on the page asking you to subscribe to my RSS feed. I typically ask very little of my readers.

But, this week I’m taking a break from my normal posting routine and am asking you to help me get this thing going!

If you are a guy. Sign up. Tell your facebook/twitter friends about us. Start sharing pictures. And enjoy a website that I really do believe will entertain you.

Ladies, I obviously don’t expect this site to win your hearts. I’m not trying to convince you to come to the “dark side”, but I seriously would be so grateful if you could at least poke around a bit, set up an account if you want (yes women are welcome to join), and tell every everyone you’ve ever met about us.

If you have a twitter I would be forever in debt to you (Yes, DEBT. Even though I hate it, I’d gladly be in debt to you) if you could tweet something along the lines of:

Finally, a Pinterest alternative for men. http://bit.ly/yiO0Xi No invite needed! via @MANteresting.

(follow @MANteresting while you’re at it). If you don’t have a twitter, you can like us on Facebook. It takes three seconds and helps spread the word to thousands of people in a matter of minutes

<— click to tweet instantly

If you’re reading this right now and didn’t click both of those buttons above, you are seriously making my heart sad :(

If you have any media connections, know any influential people on twitter, if you have a blog, or just a bunch of friends; I would be forever grateful if you could help me promote MANteresting to the world. I’m convinced I have the most loyal readers and commenters of any PF blog out there and I believe you guys/girls have the power to make this project go semi-viral if you just tweet about it, post about it, sign up, and share.

Will you please help me out?!

Thank you so, so, SOOOOOOOO much for your support. I’ll be sure to keep you posted about any successes or setbacks that come as a result of this new venture.

Oh and here’s a quick video about some of the sites features (first and probably only time you’ll ever hear my real voice. I was kind of awkward in the video because I had to do it in a single take. I can assure you I’m only 50% this awkward in real life)…

Hugs Not Drugs :)

p.s. remember we are in Beta mode which means there are still a lot of features that are either a little buggy, not implemented yet, or may not be the most intuitive. Over the next few weeks we’ll be rolling out extensive social networking features, additional categories and ways to search for images, and literally 59 other features we have on our to-do list. We would appreciate any feedback you have!!!

p.p.s. If we get 1,000 users by the end of week one I will post a picture of myself WITHOUT the black bar across my eyes. Yes, that is a bribe.

1 Stan

Booom, I was right, Congrats Ninja, Ill check the website out. Hope it goes well for you.

2 Savvy Scot

This is amazing – I see some serious potential here Ninja. Wish you all the best and I will do what I can to get the UK involved :D

3 Trina

Hey, congrats! I am not a man, but I do like interesting things:) Excited for you to come up with an idea and run with it!

4 Matt

YEAH!!!! its up and people know about it now! Excited to watch you succeed my friend.

5 gettingthere

Sounds like an awesome idea! Best of luck with this new venture. I am going to check it out right now…

6 JP

Are you guys hosting on AWS? If not, you might want to consider it, especially if this thing takes off.

7 BrokeElizabeth

Congratulations, on your new business venture, Ninja :).

I have to admit, I was a little bit offended by your description of Pinterest… until I remembered that 95% of the things I pin are cute dresses. (But there’s nothing wrong with that.)

8 Jennifer

This is seriously SUCH a smart idea! I can see this really taking off :) I’ll get the men in my life to sign up (and maybe I will too, just to get you to the 1,000 mark this week!)

9 Jennifer

Thinking more about it (and looking through the site) I bet this really takes off. $5 says Ninja will be able to retire by age 30 from this venture!

10 momninja

Big Day! Hoping for Big Things!!!!

Go Ninja Go!

11 Larry

Not really my thing, but I wish you luck and maybe I’ll at least sign up if only to become one of the 1000.

12 AT

That is a good idea. Have you seen http://www.gentlemint.com?

13 tom

I thought the same thing… looks like it’s a battle to be the best!!!

Here’s to hoping Pinterest buys them both out for a boat load of $$$$

14 Rachel

I will link it to my fb page when I get home since my job frowns on fb at work for some reason. Best of luck ninja.

15 Daisy

How fun! I tweeted about it and joined. I’m a woman, but I still think it’s a great idea and ever entertaining. Plus it’s kind of funny to see inside men’s heads a little.

Good luck, I think you’ll do great. You have a loyal following on your blog which will help launch it, and the idea itself will carry it forward from there.

16 Michelle

Wow that’s awesome! I like the site

17 Brandy

Cool! I like the facebook page and put a status update on my facebook page for people to check it out :)

18 SAM

I think this is a great idea, but I’d bet $100 it turns into a mostly-naked-ladies site within a couple of months unless you’re censoring/monitoring. Sorry, Ninja.

19 Shalonda

Great idea Ninja!!! I really hope it takes off. I’m not socially cyber connected these days but my 3 brothers are. I will certainly pass this one and ask them to spread the word. I too will sign up even though I’m a woman. I’d love some real help figuring out what men want.

20 Jennifer

I think it’s a fantastic idea!! I’m of the female persuasion but I will create an account, poke around a little, and get the word out to friends. Good luck, Ninja!

21 Shane @ Beating Broke

I think we need a counter for that bribe! We’re gonna smash that number.

22 Kaye

Fantastic job, Ninja. And yes – you have every right to be freaking excited about this! Best of luck!

23 EBee

I’m liking it so far. Way to take a risk!!! My one criticism is there is too much button pushing in order to Nail something and then you have to go back.

This is one of my husband’s favorite sites…http://www.gorillamask.net/ . May be some good images there to nail.

24 Ninja

we agree with you. too cumbersome to get around right now. we have some fixes in place to make the nailing process much smooother :) keep the sugggesstions coming!

25 Skrizel

Whats an image bookmarking site? Good luck with the site, it sounds trendy and hip so i am sure it will work out well

26 Skrizel

Hope this works out for ya as well as this pintrest thing

http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2012/02/16/pinterest-ipo/?section=magazines_fortune

27 Lutus

Ninja, here is a marketing tip.

“Check out MANteresting. The only website where you get to ‘nail’ babes on a daily basis.”

(I know that was a terrible joke…… ha)

28 M.C. Sommers

I think this is a cool idea. My husband and I are currently looking at a few business ventures/sites so it will be interesting to follow your adventure.

And I’m saying this to be helpful (not critical), but when you google your site, Mantersting is spelled Manterestnig in the little summary. Thought you might want to fix that.

29 Paul Williams

Hahaha, awesome. Signed up and shared on Facebook. :)

30 Suzanne Cramer

Love this idea! Guys need a place to share their favorite things–can’t wait to see what they may be!!

31 Lauren

posted. so funny. i can’t wait for the wives to start complaining about their husband’s newest time-suck.

32 Alice

Awesome! Congratulations on seeing something, having a vision of what was possible and finally going for it. Best wishes!

33 Andrea @SoOverDebt

Shared on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. It looks amazing – kudos to Jesse for some amazing work! I really hope it’s a huge success. :)

34 CinlawN

1000 is a low number considering how AWSOME the site is. Looks like everyone is going to see your face.

35 Confused

Can someone explain the appeal/purpose of this and/or Pinterest? I’ve heard about Pinterest and poked around Manteresting. It seems like just a bunch of random pictures of things? Is there more to it than that? How is this different than sharing stuff I think is funny or interesting on G+/Facebook/Myspace/Email/Picasa etc?

I’m pretty tech savvy and my wife likes to joke that I’ve reached the end of the internet…. twice, but I don’t think i get this one.

36 Jennifer

I consider Pinterest my bulletin board or idea board. So for example, I pin things to boards that I either find funny, or cute, or inspirational, or just like to remember. I also pin recipes I’d like to try, or craft/home projects. It’s just one place where I can keep those idea type things.

37 American Debt Project

Yeah you’re totally gonna be non-anonymous after this week.

It’s an awesome idea and will be huge if you keep up the work! I will promote it all over the place!

38 Vanessa Pagé

Ahhhh! We’re going to get to see Ninja’s face! It’s been like 2 whole years that I’ve been wondering what you look like :)

39 Nicole @ The Penny Frugalista

Remember all of us little people when you hit the big time. I want in on the IPO!

40 Diana

Awesome! I love pinterest!

41 J. Money

You pulled it off pretty fast sir, I’m impressed! Going now to go nail something… haha… love it.

42 AtssJoe

Awesome! I’m all signed up! Congrats!

43 Kris

Wait, is this the reason my pictures of cocktails never take off on pinterest? Guess I’ll have to create an account on manterest!

44 Khaleef @ KNS Financial

Congratulations on the new site. I have no idea what Pinterest is, so I’m not sure how much I will use Manteresting, but I liked it, shared it on fb and Twitter, and I’ll set up an account tonight when I get home.

Looks like you’re continuing to do big things online!

45 Clare

Hey, Ninja. I’m Clare, I used to blog at Never Niche but it’s gone now. I work full time at TechStars and LOVE this idea. I shared it around some of my tech-y man friends and they seriously want to help you. Can you e-mail me?

46 Clare

p.s. your competition: gentlemint.com

47 Ninja

No invites. Infinite Scroll. Twitter/Facebook/Personal Login. CHECKMATE!

and we got some serious features still to come :)

p.s. I emailed you :)

48 C The Writer

Is it really necessary to be like that?

49 tom

While that may be true… you gotta get ahead of them on Google. They released their product first (regardless of when you went online) which means they got all (and are getting all) the press, fanfare and users. You say they can’t handle the users, but buying server space and relocating is a simple fix.

I googled “Pinterest for Men” and “man pinterest” and they were #1. You need to do some serious SEO work.

You have some big challenges, but if you can overtake them, I have a feeling this will be a fantastically profitable venture. So I wish you the best!

50 Ninja

yeah you’re definitely right there. they got the jump start on us, we didn’t know we had competition until two weeks ago when they got some pretty serious media mentions. we got our work cut out for us for sure, but the foundation of our architecture has been very carefully placed for some pretty exciting features that we’re yet to release. guess we’ll see if building better was the right choice, or if building fast is what people want :)

51 engineer

But be careful with taking such a hard line attitude (you’ll burn bridges faster that way). There are tons of websites that do the 12 hour startup thing. It’s a fun process/experience and while it may put traction ahead of the ability to scale – without traction, there’s no need to scale. That’s the great thing about living in startup land – things are fast (and sometimes dirty) so you can fail quickly and move on to the next thing.

I wouldn’t knock that process as it’s proven to be successful with minimal energy/investment input. Also, invitation only isn’t necessarily terrible thing – it turned into an asset for the early iterations of facebook and created lots of chatter for beta versions of google products.

Best of luck and remember to fail early, fast and often ;)

52 Sarah

First time commenting. Love your blog, love your stick figures. Tweeted about it and I definitely got one of my guy friends to sign up. As he said “awesome!!! Pinterest is lameeee! This looks great! Signed up!!”

GOOD LUCK!

53 Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager

Congrats! Do you need to be a guy to sign up? Cause Pinterest isn’t big on the beer thing and I want to build a beer dream board…

54 Ninja

we would be honored to have you create a Beer board!!!

55 tmart011

first time commenter, is there a way to sign up on the new site without using twitter or facebook credentials? it seems like there is but im not seeing a way to get there (tried multiple browsers)

thanks (bribe was successfull)

56 Lindsay

Ninja,
This is awesome!!! I already sent my bf to it, and I think he’s already impressed! This is a really great idea. Congrats!

57 Young Professional Finances

While I like the idea, I have to admit that I’m a little put off by the name. I’m a woman who has grown up doing “guy” things. I’ve always tried to remove the separation of “guy things” and “girl things” but it’s really hard to bridge that gap. For example, engineering (what I do) is seen as a “guy thing” – one reason why there’s a lack of women in the field.

Now I know this site is for fun but I’m sad that the things that are already pinning are considered things interesting to men. On the other hand, I understand the market need for it and why you created it – plus I like you and your blog, so I don’t want to be too negative. But I do agree with the commenter way up there ^ – you’ll need to modify what’s added because I could see the content going downhill really fast.

Best of luck to you! All business ventures are really exciting and I hope this works out well for you.

58 tom

While what you say might be true, when 97% of Pinterest’s “likes” on FB are from women, I don’t see how you have an argument against the name.

59 Young Professional Finances

That’s true, Pinterest did end up becoming for women. But Pinterest isn’t a female specific name – they aren’t saying, “Here’s a site with everything interesting to women!” It just ended up that way. This site really does say, “Interesting man things”. I would have the same feelings against Pinterest if they said “Interesting women things”.

Hope this doesn’t come off sounding combative or anything! It’s one of my pet peeves (women vs man things). :)

60 tom

What about Dr. Pepper 10? ;)

61 Young Professional Finances

I actually had not heard about that until now! It’s interesting because I see that one more as an eyeroll-inducing joke. Maybe because a drink to be not for women but for men is hard to take seriously. You’re right of course – there are an infinite amount of things that fit into this category. It all depends how serious you take it and maybe I took the URL/tagline of the site too seriously.

Getting back to the topic at hand, I think this is a great idea for a site but I do wish it was branded a little differently than “Interesting Man Things”.

62 tom

I get what you’re saying, and don’t necessarily disagree.

With Pinterest, the site could have started as a project geared toward men for all we know, but the fact is, it’s now a “woman’s” site, and Pinterest is now has a female connotation even though the title is gender neutral.

For men, in order to capture our attention, you have to be more overt. This is both a stereotype and a fact. By putting MAN in giant letters it catches a man’s attention right away, which is the goal. It’s not meant to turn away women, but to draw in men.

So I do agree that it could be considered “sexist” to label as “Man things”, but from a 50,000 foot level, everything on there will be a “man thing”.

63 J.P.

I’m not much for the idea behind Pinterest, so I can’t say yeah-or-nay on this. That said, I know that enough of the ladies I know do spend time flipping between FB and Pinterest to realize you might have something going. Try shooting an email to ArtOfManliness.com and see if they’d be willing to review your site and run an article about it.

Best of luck!

64 kim

Dude, I just checked out gntlmnt (don’t want to spell it right to give them more hits on the internets) and you’ve kicked their ar$e in look & feel. I love the site! The title won’t keep women away any more than the idea that women don’t read Esquire. And this site has many more funny pins – Pinterest is kind of boring in retrospect.

65 C The Writer

Just FYI, typing gntlmnt into a search bar brings you riiight to the website.

66 Esther

Exciting! Can’t say I’m personally into Pinterest (one of the many ways I fail as a female) – but will be interested to see how this goes. Also FYI, the Tweet button doesn’t work when trying to share directly from Google Reader :)

67 Lynn

Love it. I like Pinterest but seriously I can’t take any more food pics..everyone I follow is obsessed with eating. Will like, tweet, and blog about this.

68 C The Writer

1. How is making a website risky? Which brings me to question 2…
2. How do you spend thousands of dollars making a website? I can’t think of a bigger waste of money.

69 Larry

1. Because if you invest thousands of dollars, you could lose everything you put into it if the website doesn’t turn a profit.
2. Costs of purchasing a domain name (here minimal), servers, programming costs, licenses, advertising, etc. I’m sure Ninja can provide an itemized account.

70 Chris P

Best of luck-I am female, but did the facebook and twitter thing for you!

71 Katie

I am a female without absolutely no interest in Pinterest, but you have a great idea here, hope it goes well for you.

72 Katie

I just checked it out, way cooler than pinterest.

73 SWR

I’m excited for you. This could be really cool.

I’m also nervous that this could turn into lots of pictures of almost/naked women in a hurry. I can think of a few other man-centered sites where exactly that has happened. And these are sites that I (a not-easily-offended twentysomething woman) would enjoy visiting if it weren’t for that issue. Perhaps a “mark as offensive/nudity/whatever you want to call it” button on pictures (nails?) would be good so that you don’t have to do all of the policing yourself all of the time. Then you could go through and un-mark all of the non-offensive pins. Maybe that’s too much work.

But I really think that you should do something to make sure you don’t potentially alienate the people who aren’t looking for more boob shots, etc. online…

74 Mo D.

I’ll be checking it out FOR SURE (when I’m on lunch, as I’m just about to start my workday)… and I’ll be telling Hubby to check it our as well! CONGRATS NINJA!!! Wishing you all the best in your new business venture!!

75 After College Money

Wow, very cool. I like how you showed us the steps you took to create Manteresting. Also, I like the twitter and analytic screenshots.

It looks like a hit website was born! Good Luck!

76 Paula @ Afford Anything

That is awesome!!!! Go Ninja!!!! I’m going to that site right now. (Yes, I realize I’m not a man. So ban me.)

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