Ben Bator and Lauren Leto are a couple of Michigan State University alumni (just like me!) that launched a website called TextsFromLastNight.com. The levels of website traffic that TextsFromLastNight is impressive. The website receives about 3.5 million page views per month.
TextsFromLastNight grew at a viral pace just like FML. The website is making money from advertising, t-shirt sales, mobile phone applications, and even a book deal with Penguin Group’s Penguin division. Bator and Leto were considering going to law school right after graduating from Michigan State, but the success of TextsFromLastNight hindered those plans.
Between Bator and Leto, they have to look through about 10,000-15,000 funny text messages that were sent in to the website. Visitors to the website enter their area code and a funny text message that they received recently.
Some of the funny messages that are currently on the homepage include:
(304): My life is like a Sweet Valley High book but with lots of alcohol.
(410): Its Shannon Doherty lazy not Forest Whittaker lazy
(440): you were so drunk you slurred your pauses
(201): I am no longer a man. I just realized I prefer Spongebob to college football.
This past February, Bator and Leto launched their website on Blogger.com but noticed that their traffic grew from 500 visitors per day to 15,000. They moved their website from Blogger to their own domain name on April 16th. Between the two of them, they had less than $10,000 in savings and from investors.
Within one week of moving their website to their own domain name, they hit 240,000 page views and their server crashed. Several days later, traffic hit 460,000 page views.
The two even gave credit to former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick about their idea. During the months of September 2002 ? October 2002 and April 2003 ? May 2003, the former Detroit mayor sent over 14,000 text messages to his chief of staff Christine Beatty.