05/09/2014 12:04 am ET Updated Jul 08, 2014

9 Things About HuffPost I Know Now That I Wish I'd Known When We Started

Today is the 9th anniversary of the launch of The Huffington Post. There is so much to celebrate, so much that has exceeded my wildest dreams -- no, back in 2005, I wasn't dreaming of more than 90 million unique visitors a month, more than 60 verticals, more than 50,000 bloggers, more than 300 million comments, or double-digit international editions, a game-changing live streaming network, and a wall-full of awards.

Looking back, however, there are a number of things that I know now that I wish I'd known then. To mark our 9th anniversary, here are 9 of them:

  1. That WTF, LOL, CMS, FTW, ICYMI, meme, selfie, share, like, and RT would become such essential parts of my daily work vocabulary. I also wish I knew how to correctly pronounce "gif" (actually, I still don't know).
  2. That I'd end up watching more video on my phone than on my TV (and speaking of TV, it would've been nice to know that Lost would get so weird; that The Sopranos would end so unsatisfyingly; that the Red Wedding would be so, well, red; and that that sweet little Hannah Montana would turn into a crotch-grabbing wrecking ball).
  3. That Tom DeLay (aka "The Hammer"), who I wrote my first HuffPost blog post about, would go from the most feared man in the House to a bespangled, Texas two-stepping contestant on Dancing with the Stars who left the competition after developing stress fractures in both feet.
  4. That HuffPost Divorce would be such a big hit. Nora Ephron, who suggested it, was right when she said, "Marriage comes and goes but divorce is forever." If I had known, we would have started our section about endings a lot sooner.
  5. That nine years after we launched, Americans would still be coming home from Afghanistan in body bags, and that we'd still be paying a price for the lies that got us into Iraq and kept us there for a decade. We've kept our promise to stay on these stories; I just wish they'd had a much shorter shelf life.
  6. That Twitter, Vine, and Instagram -- none of which existed when we launched -- would become such a vital part of my daily work life. Of course, if I'd known that, we would have launched Twitter, Vine, and Instagram ourselves!
  7. That NapQuest 1 and NapQuest 2 -- HuffPost's nap rooms -- would be so popular ... we certainly could have used them during the early years. They might even have helped me avoid, two years after we launched, my wake-up call of collapsing from exhaustion, which set me on the path to understanding the vital importance of unplugging and recharging -- for myself, for all HuffPosters, and for our readers.
  8. That I'd need to know how to say "HuffPost" in French, Italian, Spanish, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Korean -- and with a British and Canadian accent -- to better communicate with our many international editors. I still have time before we launch in India, the Middle East, and Greece to get it right in Hindi and Arabic (thankfully, I'm fully up to speed on the Greek).
  9. That HuffPost would always be a work in progress, even as we grew from a handful of people working out of my house in Los Angeles to an international media company with over 700 people worldwide -- and that there would never be a moment when we could put a bow around it and say, "this is HuffPost."

Happy anniversary, HuffPost! Here's to many, many more!