As the Editor in Chief of WIRED, Chris Anderson is on the cutting edge. In addition to his work at WIRED, he's the author of The Long Tail, an influential book which speaks about our economy and culture's shift towards niche products and services. In this interview, Chris talks about his thoughts on trends and innovation.
12 Questions with Chris Anderson
1. How did you get involved in WIRED and what motivates you to continue?
It changed my life when I first read it in' 93, so when Conde Nast offered me the job in 2001, I couldn't say no (despite the fact that it meant leaving The Economist, which I loved)
2. How do you spot trends in the world of publishing to keep WIRED on the cutting edge?
Not getting distracted by the headlines of the day. As a monthly, we have to think at least six months out. That same process helps us think six years out, too.
3. How do you define a trend?
Something that's ascendant and important.
4. How do you define cool?
I can't, so I try not to use that word. As a geek, I'm more drawn to â€œinterestingâ€.
5. Your book, The Long Tail, dives into the power of niche. How do you incorporate The Long Tail theories into WIRED?
Mostly online, where we have the â€œshelf spaceâ€ to cover more niche areas, and catalyze user-generated conversations.
6. What are your ambitions for WIRED in 2008 and beyond?
Continuing to set the agenda in print and innovate online. And breaking 2007's record-setting numbers ;-)
7. Since publishing The Long Tail, what insights have you learned that you would love to add to the book?
You'll be able to see them in the expanded paperback edition (The Longer Tail) in June. One notable addition: a new chapter on Long Tail Marketing.
8. What is the best way to create an infectious idea, product or service?
Generate a meme a day and put it out there. If you're any good, sooner or later one or two will take off.
9. What is the key to innovation?
ABOUT CHRIS ANDERSON
10. How do you reset yourself to be creative?
I try to act on as many of my ideas as possible, from a simple blog post to starting a company. Simply writing them down, usually in public, is a great discipline, and once they're out there they tend to improve.
11. Professionally, what do you want to be doing or studying in 10 years?
I think the amazing rise of the amateurâ€"from Wikipedia to the blogosphereâ€"is the most important phenomenon of our time. It's going to take us decades to understand itâ€"what drives it, how to harness itâ€"and whatever I do will be part of that.
12. What are your most important hobbies?
Amateur UAVs/aerial robotics (diydrones.com); Geek parenting (GeekDad.com), startups (BookTour.com)
Thank you, Chris!
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