It's hard to believe it was two years ago this month that a small, scrappy band of entrepreneurs, journalists and software engineers launched the first three Patch sites in Maplewood, South Orange, and Millburn-Short Hills, NJ! I remember when we finally went live, after some champagne-popping (ok, we were a start-up...cheap beer-popping), we watched and waited to see if our labor of love would resonate with the residents of these towns. The entire company -- engineers, designers, business people -- regularly took the early train from Penn Station out to New Jersey to hand out fliers to commuters, spreading the word however we could. The response was truly unbelievable. The communities embraced our editors and sites, traffic grew quickly, and most surprisingly we received thousands of emails from people in 42 states and 12 foreign countries who saw what we were doing and wanted Patch in their towns!
We've come a long way in two years. We launched 780 more sites in 18 states and the District of Columbia. We were the largest hirer of journalists in 2010 -- a fact we're particularly proud of considering the loss of 15,000 news jobs in the US since 2009. Two years went by fast, and we couldn't be happier about our progress.
A big, heartfelt "thanks" to the residents of towns and neighborhoods across America who have made Patch part of their lives, to Patch staffers across the country who work tirelessly to connect residents with the most important information, and congrats to our first three editors, Jen Connic, Adam Bulger and Cotton Delo, and the whole start-up team who believed in the mission before Patch even existed. Happy Anniversary, Patch. I can't wait to see what 2011 will bring!