You've heard of ViralNova.com, right? Along with Upworthy, it's probably the most Facebook-shareable site on the web, what with its "tantalizingly impossible-not-to-click headlines" — you know, things like "This Island Was Used For Top Secret Chemical Weapons. I NEVER Expected What’s There Now."
It relies less on the sentimental pap of Upworthy, opting instead to lure you with frankly infuriating headlines. You're informed that such-and-such a feat or natural phenomenon or animal behavior is the most amazing / incredible / unbelievable / terrifying / insane / awesome thing you've ever seen, in varying degrees. The whole premise of ViralNova is tapping into the web's virality, finding trending stories online and then mobilizing wacakadoo levels of shares and likes to increase a "story's" virality by an exponent of something like a bazillion. According to Alexa.com, ViralNova now gets more traffic than the likes of Dailymotion, Gawker, Bloomberg, ign, People, Gizmodo and the New York Post.
And it turns out the founder and lone employee is a 30-year-old named Scott DeLong with local-ish ties, "one guy working alone out of a house in suburban Ohio with a window that look[s] out onto a snow covered corn field," according to this exclusive interview.
DeLong is dubbed a genius, and in many respects he probably is. But the "interview" turns out to be little more than a five-step prescription for success, "keys" which include things like being obsessive, passionate and knowledgeable about the subject of your choice. His fifth step is all about accepting failure and moving on.
As for the future: "I'm not sure what the future holds for ViralNova because the Web changes very quickly," says DeLong. "But by sticking to those basic, fool-proof keys to success, it's literally impossible to fail."
You hear that, folks? It's literally impossible to fail using DeLong's five keys to success which include "accepting failure." Looks like his headline-writing prowess has infiltrated his conversational discourse:
"You Literally Will Not Believe How Impossible It Is to Fail By Accepting This Crazy, Unbelievable Thing. I was Weeping So Hard After I Read This. You Will Literally Start Weeping When You See How Impossible it is to Fail."
Easy to make fun of, I guess. But it is cool that this dude is emcamped near Cleveland, and it's exciting (and sort of bonkers) that he's doing this whole all solo. Who needs Silicon Valley when we've got DeLong, eh?