Emerson Spartz

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Emerson Spartz
Emerson Spartz.png
Born (1987-02-17) February 17, 1987 (age 32)
OccupationFounder of Dose
Known forMuggleNet, OMG Facts, GivesMeHope
Parent(s)Tom and Maggi Spartz

Emerson James Spartz (born February 17, 1987) is the founder of the viral media company Dose and the founder of MuggleNet, a Harry Potter fansite.

Early life[edit]

Spartz was born in La Porte, Indiana to Tom and Maggi Spartz.[1][2] He is the oldest of three brothers.[2] At the age of twelve, Spartz convinced his parents to allow him to drop out of school and homeschool himself. He developed his own curriculum,[3] which his parents supplemented by requiring him to read four single-page biographies of successful people every day, which were collected from the pages of Investor's Business Daily.[2] Spartz has subsequently attributed some of his entrepreneurial success to reading these short biographies.[2][4][5]



Using the WYSIWYG site-building tool Homestead, Spartz founded MuggleNet, a Harry Potter news website and forum, in 1999, at the age of twelve.[2][6] In fall 2006, while a junior at Notre Dame, Emerson co-authored a book, MuggleNet.com's What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7, which speculated on plot elements of the final Harry Potter book to be released in July 2007.[7] The book remained on the New York Times Children's Bestseller List for six months, peaking in the number two position and selling 350,000 copies.[8][9] In June 2007, Spartz went on a tour with Ben Schoen, another MuggleNet staff member, to promote their work.[10]

In 2009, Emerson Spartz and Ben Schoen wrote another book, MuggleNet.com's Harry Potter Should Have Died: Controversial Views From The #1 Fan Site.[11]

By 2007, Spartz was receiving a six-figure income for running MuggleNet and had recruited six paid and 120 volunteer staff to the site.[6][12][13][14] Spartz has retained ownership of the site but has been less actively involved in its administration since 2008.[2][15][16] In 2015, he stated, "As I became less motivated by my passion for the books, I got obsessed with the entrepreneurial side of [MuggleNet], the game of maximizing patterns and seeing how big my reach could get."[2]


In 2009, Spartz launched Spartz Media, now called Dose, a company that originally crowdsourced viral web content across thirty websites.[1][2] In May 2009, Spartz and Gaby Montero founded GivesMeHope, a website where contributors share answers to the question "what gives you hope?" in the form of anonymous anecdotes.[17][18] The site was created in response to FMyLife.[17][19]

In January 2010, Spartz launched OMG Facts.[20] In 2012, OMGFacts.com received 30 million monthly page views,[3] and had 500,000 subscribers on YouTube.[21]

Spartz has launched at least thirty websites under the Spartz Media brand, all of which primarily rely on social media sites for web traffic.[2] Because these sites have increasingly operated by republishing previously developed viral content, Spartz's content strategy has been characterized as arbitrage, and has been criticized for failing to license or provide attribution for copyrighted media.[2][22]

In 2014, the company launched Dose.com. In 2015, the company changed its name to Dose and raised $25 million in venture financing, bringing its total capital raised to $34.5 million.[23][24]

Personal life[edit]

Spartz graduated in May 2009 from the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business.[15] In addition to taking a full load of classes there, Spartz devised his own self-teaching curriculum around initialisms, mnemonics, and flashcards in order to retain larger quantities of information.[citation needed] Emerson has stated that he read one book of nonfiction per day during college.[4][20]

Spartz married Gaby Spartz (née Montero), his college girlfriend, in 2011.[25] They divorced in 2017.[26]


  1. ^ a b Moore, Ann (21 April 2012). "From Muggle to Media Mogul by Age 25". Crain's. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Marantz, Andrew (5 January 2015). "The Virologist". The New Yorker. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  3. ^ a b Gilbert, Trevor. "How a Self-Taught 12-Year-Old Turned Spartz Media into a Viral Media Titan". PandoDaily. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  4. ^ a b Harris, Melissa (21 October 2014). "Emerson Spartz talks (quickly) about creating a life without distractions". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  5. ^ Fussman, Cal (6 August 2014). "What I've Learned: Viral Wizard Emerson Spartz". Esquire.com. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  6. ^ a b Vittor, Josh (22 June 2007). "Wild About Harry". Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  7. ^ Siegal, Lee (11 February 2007). "Children's Books". New York Times. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  8. ^ Raine, George (7 July 2007). "Potter spin-off a hit for tiny Berkeley publisher". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  9. ^ Buckley, Madeline (2 October 2007). "ND Junior Writes Bestselling Harry Potter Book". Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  10. ^ "The Planet Provides Web Hosting for Harry Potter Site". 2 July 2007. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  11. ^ "Creator of Most Popular Harry Potter Fan Site Speaks at Fordham University".[dead link]
  12. ^ Brady, Diane (1 July 2007). "The Twisted Economics of Harry Potter". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  13. ^ Teigen, Megan (Autumn 2005). "Mugglenet founder chooses Notre Dame over Hogwarts". Notre Dame Magazine. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  14. ^ Chapla, Shannon (22 July 2008). "Senior "Web wizard" takes Harry Potter to the Middle East". Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  15. ^ a b Johnson, Nancy. "Emerson 2.0". Notre Dame Business Magazine. Mendoza College of Business. Archived from the original on 15 April 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  16. ^ Fosmoe, Margaret (10 August 2008). "Time for MuggleNet creator to spread his wings". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  17. ^ a b Spartz, Emerson; Montero, Gaby. "About GMH". GivesMeHope. Archived from the original on 2011-08-16.
  18. ^ Anjarwalla, Tas (2 Aug 2010). "8 feel-good websites to brighten your day". CNN. Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  19. ^ Sullivan, Matt (1 June 2009). "GivesMeHope.com: When Bankruptcy, Plane Crashes, and Mondays Get You Down". Esquire. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  20. ^ a b Jahn, Tim (10 June 2011). "From Interviewing JK Rowling To Inspiring Millions Every Month – with Emerson Spartz". Entrepreneurs Unpluggd. Archived from the original on 25 September 2011.
  21. ^ Frobes, Marissa (15 September 2011). "The Observer". The Observer. Archived from the original on 2012-08-17. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  22. ^ Ingram, Matthew (30 December 2014). "When content becomes a virus, the viral scientists ultimately win". Gigaom. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  23. ^ Inverso, Emily, "Under 30 Emerson Spartz On The Trick To Tackling Viral Content", Forbes, 1/7/2016
  24. ^ Pletz, John, "Emerson Spartz raises $25 million from Tribune Media", Crain's Chicago Business, 12/09/2015
  25. ^ http://www.mugglenet.com/2011/09/mugglenets-emerson-and-gaby-tie-the-knot/
  26. ^ https://courtlink.lexisnexis.com/cookcounty/FindDock.aspx?DocketKey=CABHDAABGIG0DR

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