In this weeks conversation we sat down with the other half of the Lanky Living founding team to find out a little bit about him, his background and this website.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What do you do and what interested you in starting Lanky Living?
Hey! I’m Justin, one of the co-founders of Lanky Living. I’m a 27-year old living in Austin, Texas working as a front-end web developer by day and moonlighting as an entrepreneur by night. I wanted to create Lanky Living because I often struggle with knowing what and where to buy various things. I just wanted to make something for tall people everywhere to try and help them with some of the same issues I face every day. Things kind of grew from there and continue to grow which keeps my excited and optimistic for the site.
When was the first time you hit your head walking into a room and did it leave a scar?
I can’t actually recall the first time I hit my head on a door frame. Maybe that’s a bad sign. The thing that I do remember is the first time I stuck my hand into a ceiling fan which was fairly high up. I was watching a football game and jumped up to celebrate and quickly felt a pain that is all too familiar now. Low ceiling fans are not a tall persons friend.
I was told that the name “Lanky Living” was your idea. How’d you come up with that and what does it mean?
I think I did pitch the idea initially but it was a team effort to get it where we are today. I couldn’t have done any of this without Anthony or Ashley. The name actually came out of a brainstorming session with one of my really good friends. I sent her a bunch of things I was considering and she sent back some ideas of her own. I started combining some of the various ideas and stumbled across “Lanky Living”. I loved it immediately. I bought the URL and created the various social media accounts on the spot. To me “Lanky Living” is about going through life as a tall person. About the unique experiences that tall people have and the challenges we face that in many ways shape who we are as people.
This site is obviously pretty personal to you. Beyond that, what are you hoping to do with it?
It definitely is personal. These are problems I’ve been facing since junior high school. My theory is that I am not alone in going through some of these things. We’ve got a few really cool things in the pipeline but the biggest thing “Lanky Living” is trying to do right now is validate the idea that there are tall people out there who share a similar set of issues. We want to build a community and have a team that can create timely, valuable content for them. If we can succeed with that we have plans to open a store and doing multimedia content (video interviews would be amazing!). As for our more ambitious plans for the site you will just have to stay tuned!
Is anyone doing a good job right now? How big of a market opportunity is targeting taller folks?
I actually think the people doing the best job of providing valuable content to tall people is the community on the website Reddit.com. There are a handful of subreddits there that have some really great content. It’s not a beautiful interface and a lot of people don’t use Reddit so a lot of it is going to waste in my opinion. Malcolm Gladwell says in his book “Blink” that 14.5 percent of all men are six feet in the United States and 3.9 percent of adult men are 6’2″ or taller. Those numbers only factor in men and the United States. Once you add in all of the tall women and the rest of the world that is a niche that is plenty large enough to cater to. As far a niches go I think this a pretty great one to be in.
Thanks for your time! Where can we stay in touch with you?
It’s been a blast! I love what we’ve done here and can’t wait to keep making it better for everyone.
You’ll see me writing various articles here and I’m always tweeting at twitter.com/jcoleman. Feel free to reach out to me directly and let me know what you’d like to see on the site.
Rapid FireWe wanted to ask Justin a few more questions about Lanky Living, the business, so you can read those in the sections below. Enjoy!
If a company like GQ, Fashionista, or Valet came along, would you sell?
Ha! It would have to be in the best interest of the site, the readers and the team. We aren’t doing this for money so a big payday for us that ruins the site wouldn’t be worth it to me. That scenario would mean things have gone well and we’ve built something valuable so I certainly hope I’m presented with that dilemma eventually.
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