Lab Notes

Why BMTN Partners with GoKart Labs

donrickaj

I’ve collected stories of success and failure as a journalist for decades. One thing the best stories seem to have in common… is good, honest, cohesive partnerships.

We’ve been lucky to build that at BringMeTheNews from the beginning. It’s evolved: different people at different critical stages of development.

But my early partnership with Don Smithmier, founder at GoKart Labs was important for me out of the gate.

I had little in the way of a ‘business background’ when I started.

While I brought the early expertise in news collection, dissemination, and even sales… Smithmier and his colleagues were helping me hammer out the model.

We were a good fit early-on, marrying our independent expertise. I literally moved in with them… and we worked on it together.

GKL’s other founding partner – A.J. Meyer – took a lead role in helping to imagine – and build – the news site.

One way to think about what we created with BringMeTheNews… is that it’s an advanced content marketing platform – for businesses. It’s wrapped in one of the cleanest local news delivery platforms you’ll find anywhere.

That platform is also home to the state’s top-ranked radio newscast – according to the Society of Professional Journalists – since its inception.

With GKL’s help… we now deliver news & sponsored content to about a million Minnesotans every week… on air and across devices.

bmtn

I’ve told my friends – you can look at GKL as a group of developers… but not in the traditional sense. Sure they can develop software… websites… apps… but generally… that only comes after they’ve developed the concepts, the business plans, the management teams, and raised the capital.

Mostly – they’re developers of business. Creators.

After a few years of working alongside each other… I became an equity partner at GKL last fall.

Early success in both companies

Collectively, in less than three years, we’ve raised nearly $15M in investment capital for various concepts.

In the process… we’ve taken whole companies from concept… through ideation… build-out… and investment rounds – up through and including sale.

If you’d have told me when I was walking out of KARE Television three years ago…  that we’d be where we are – collectively creating a hundred jobs… in about three years… (and still needing help!)… I’d have told you: “You’re crazy.”

But so far – it’s working! The jobs created, the revenue raised, the popular growth of our BringMeTheNews platform added more than a hundred thousand new users in just the last few months.

It turns out the re-invention business has been a tremendous business to jump into. We’re doing it here every day. To a person – living it personally and professionally.

You should come in sometime… if there’s one thing we really like more than actively building things… it’s imagining what’s next.

After 30 years working as an investigative reporter and news anchor, Rick has seen it all—which is why he loves being a part of our mad scientist crew that’s constantly inventing something new. He’s earned numerous awards including more than a dozen Emmys; with a drive to steer media into new, exciting directions, he’s added “tech entrepreneur” to his already impressive job list of author, speaker, and documentary producer.

  1. Ever since your gig came to fruitation I’ve been querying BMTN at least 4-5 times a day. Love it.
    Keep hammering.
    Ya done good –You betcha yet already anyhow. Huh?

    From zipcode 55045
    John *(~_~)*

    1. glad that we can engender that kind of response – repeat daily visitors… that traffic is actually pretty high for us at bmtn… have you registered on this site? allows you to use the platform as more than a straight curation operation – you can import more specific sources of greatest interest to you… check it out! and thanks for your note!

  2. A fantastic example of innovation at its best… taking and putting news into a paradigm not affected by legacy carryovers and only focusing on the new and brighter ways of engaging the audience – where they want to be engaged. Congrats and keep up the good work!

    1. appreciate your comments… and the call-out on innovation…
      says more for the low-bar on consumer-centric development than anything else, doesn’t it?!
      :)
      the opportunity to build business by thinking about consumers (and honestly, even sponsors!) differently – is extreme in this country. it’s like so many providers are thinking only about themselves. it’s really very different when you approach creation from the perspective of the user…. these are GREAT times.

    1. thank you! we appreciate it… both on the the journalistic side that is BringMeTheNews – and the platform side, executed directly by GKL. thanks for being with us!

  3. I first met you Rick, when I worked a the St. Paul Fire Dept, and again at a book signing for your book, ‘Girls Can.’ I now live in Florida and am pretty active on the computer. I read your news every day on Facebook. I hope your success continues with this venture.

    1. Thank you! appreciate your interest in this platform… try out registration on the site… and see how you can use this thing as a truly customized platform delivering the stuff you’re most interested in. we really have hardly begun to market this directly. we will. it’s worth checking out! thanks again for finding – and using – BringMeTheNews.

  4. To say BMTN is nothing short then brilliant is an understatement ! Not only have I stopped relying on my local news, I also found a new job by utilizing this awesome site! Thanks Rick and GKL for this terrific news medium!

  5. I check your website out at least 3 times a day. Please put celebrity birthdays on the top – one of my favorite topics.

  6. Rick, i honestly never looked at your site until you teamed up with Tommy B. It is now my go to MN news website. I wish i started using BMTN sooner.

  7. I’ve never seen a more vague promotion. So what is it you’re promoting? I look on Google and I don’t see anything to direct me supposedly to what you’re doing. Explain please. Maybe Go Kart before it promotes something should understand this is not a big thing everyone knows about and until they know what is being promoted it never will be. To me BMTN is Bowel Movement TV Network for all I know.

  8. Hey Roger,

    Thanks for the candid feedback.

    BringMeTheNews employs journalists to curate all Minnesota news sources to tell the story and simplify finding relevant news. Much easier to have all in one place. But that one place can be Facebook, Twitter, Bringmethenews.com, the BMTN iPhone or Android app, e-mail, radio … whatever makes sense for any given news consumer.

    GoKart Labs has developed the technology for BringMeTheNews … website, app, radio distribution platform. We’ve also created Sophia.org, which offers over 32,000 education tutorials to students and teachers all around the world to use – some even worth college credit at a great discount versus skyrocketing education costs elsewhere. We’ve just released Kinly, our social app to provide a better tool for increasingly mobile families to stay connected.

    Can learn more at http://www.bringmethenews.com or http://www.gokartlabs.com.

  9. First place I go to for headlines as well. Clear and to the point from different angles. Keep up the good work. Also, ever thought of something like accu- weather?

  10. Rick,
    My husband and I have been fans of your work since KARE 11. Congratulations on the success of your new ventures! We were excited about BMTN after the first time we heard you on KTWN and have followed on the mobile ap since. Keep up the good work!

  11. BMTN is in my “Favorites” and I check it daily to stay on top of all things in the Midwest when we are away. You do a wonderful job and keep up the good work.