I'm a Mac guy but I travel with a Dell.
Relaunched 6 years ago from an academic mag to a mainstream magazine with 310k subscribers. The process of innvovation journalism to bring technologies to the larger world. Non-profit, planning on breaking even. Don't like labels, business writer, science writer now an innovation journalists. Im just a journalists, what happens, why they care, how its happening and will effect them.
I'm a Cal guy, first time speaking at Stanford, but a rooter for the Pac 10 (w00t!). Dedicated to promoting the understanding of emerging technologies an their impact for leaders. What's going to hit the market during the next three years and their impact.
Best definition of innovation from John Seely Brown: Invention Implemented. Taking a new creation and bringing it to market, making it matter.
Nathan Myhrvold: Household names will falter in the face of newcomers with better ideas. Look for the new "Top 20" companies, as only a few of them will make it through the long haul.
Balance a sense of wonder about technology and how it works and why you care. Impact on business, society, and personal lives. The best way we have found is a narrative story.
Beware the expert. We threw out all the experts. Not all, like Ted Postal.
* Get out. Conferences, contacts, lab visits, brainstorm. Took 8 editors to IBM Research, the one company that engages all areas they cover, 2 days of learning without writing anything directly, planting seeds for bigger trends.
* What's been missed? Where's the critical mass -- different advances coming together in an important area? Momentum for change. Not going to catch breaking news, compete with weeklys, instead they cover trends.
* What's the story? Where is the narrative
10 Emerging Technologies is the most popular issue. On Search Beyond Google, can't cover the industry it creates, instead show the upstarts and big movers that may unseat it. Google only gets 1% of what is in digital form right now. On the Invention Issue, long been dismissed as part of the innovation pipeline, but initial inventions are having a renessance, startups trying to better the invention process.
Myhrvold: "You can't out develop Microsoft, but you can out invent them"
Used to have a meeting, "Why does Tracy care?" pitching the editor, then refining the pitch together. New layouts: multiple points of entry for a page, boxes, charts, breakouts, active photography. Worldwide, looked to increase their reach, airfare to China or Japan is cheaper than Atlanta or something, so its easy to do.
Pace of Change: RNAi Therepy, Tiny molecules of RNA can target a certain gene and specifically block that genes effect, sprung up in the last couple of years. Need an understanding of the science to be able to move upon it. Xerox revenues fastest company to $1B in revenue but couldn't adapt beyond initial invention vs. HP which continued to innovate and completely eclipsed it.
Used to do reader surveys. Watches renewal rates. Miss the feedback.
Don Kennedy: RNAi is a perfect example fo the jump ahead effect. Collateral effect of all the companies that had been in another business have exploded again, changed their business again and have become more successful.
I asked about how their launch of weblogs has changed their coverage of innovation and business: Started weblogs last fall, took it as a separate venture for the web. Journalists and experts blogging, particular area where the expert take might fit. Very successful, 10% of traffic (ed: must not count their RSS subscriptions), much of the repeat visitors. Experts were too busy to post enough. Hired people at basic rates to post a certain amount per week, freelancers in their areas. Opened it up to the staff editors as an "if you feel like it kind of thing," 1/3 took it up on a regular basis. Trying to cautiously expand it and go back to the expert idea. Don't want it taking over the site -- has a bigger role than it has now.
Used to worry about the old Red Herring. Even if they did something it didn't kill the story for them. Fortune would. Sometimes Wired. Like what Business 2.0 has done, doesn't kill the story. Most of my reading is from the daily newspapers to see the indicators for change.
90k subscribers are MIT alumni. Buy the fast company, b2.0, economist lists when we go after subscribers. Increasing amount of their readers are in business or looking for a business edge. Talking to business groups helps and also in contacts
On electronic ink, still too clunky, was geared to foreign customers who wanted to get it instantly at the same cost (instead of double). Toyed with the idea of producing for this channel. Have 30k electronic subscribers, but tailing off. Medium is in question because of audit questions. Next generation of devices may make it possible.