Inman started computer programming at the age of 13, and got a job as a programmer in Seattle at the age of 17. He created The Oatmeal on July 6, 2009. After high school, he worked in a marketing firm but was unhappy there, so he built Mingle2, a dating website, to support himself so that he no longer had to work for someone else. He advertised the website by building quizzes and comics to build interest in the website. His work is influenced by Gary Larson, who wrote the comic strip The Far Side. He typically spends 12 hours a day or more on the computer, a habit which he developed as a teenager. Regarding the name of the website, Inman notes that he does not enjoy eating oatmeal and instead eats a lot of "dry" cereal. He recalls that he used to play the Quake video game quite often when he was younger, and used the nickname "Quaker Oatmeal", which is where the website's name comes from.
The Oatmeal is a website created in 2009 by Matthew Inman, who lives in the Fremont area of Seattle, Washington, United States. The website features comics drawn by Inman, and occasional articles as well. As of 2010, The Oatmeal got more than four million unique visitors a month. In 2012, its annual revenue was around $500,000, 75% from merchandising and the rest from advertising.
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