As of this post, Clay & Milk is on an indefinite hiatus. It’s been a good seven (7!) year-ish run for us. We started in 2016 with a goal of bringing you daily news about the Iowa startup community and our collective role in the future of Iowa’s innovation economy.
I’m proud of what we’ve done, and while I know the need for what we do is as great as it has ever been, it’s time for this publication to cease—at least in this iteration.
Clay & Milk is something that Gravitate has funded and/or heavily subsidized for the last several years because I believe in its importance to the community. It’s an altruistic endeavor but it is not without expense. Our goal was never to make profit—and don’t worry, we haven’t—but I had hopes that we’d get to breakeven and be able to carry on for the long term.
Personally, I recognized a year ago that the best use of my time, efforts, and resources is on making Gravitate Coworking the best company possible and that is somewhat at odds with continuing to carry forward Clay & Milk.
Over the last year, I’ve talked with several groups and individuals interested in taking over Clay & Milk, both locally and from out-of-state. It’s come very close to being acquired twice but ultimately I’ve chosen not to move forward for various reasons.
As I’ve talked with potential acquirers I’ve had the following criteria for what I think is a good fit:
- Commit to a daily publication schedule
- Be something that is additive to the local news landscape in Iowa and not a roll up of other startup/innovation news coverage
- Have a structure that plausibly shows the opportunity for long term success*
- Employ professional journalists
*Clay & Milk is my third “startup news” effort in Iowa after Silicon Prairie News (4 years) and Welch Avenue Weekly/The Pull Weekly Newsletter (5 years). I promised my wife I wouldn’t ever go through the stress of starting one of these again.
If you have an idea for the future of startup and innovation community news that is somewhat in line with the above, send me an email at email@example.com and I’d be happy to chat with you about it. If you have an idea for a publication that is significantly different, don’t worry about me, just go for it.
Thanks to all our supporters, sponsors, and friends along the way and to all of you for reading and sharing our posts.
Special thanks to Ben Milne for coming up with the idea of Clay & Milk (and choosing the name) and for co-founding the publication and to our editors over the years: Matt, Jami, Joey, and, for most of our publication’s life, Jake.