Lance Ulanoff, Editor-in-Chief of PCMag.com, took some time out of his busy day to tell Trend Hunter what helps him stay on the cutting edge of technology.
Innovation and trends are at the center of the technological industry, making them of utmost importance to sites like PCMag.com. Read on for insights from Lance Ulanoff, one of the industry insiders.
1. How did you get involved in tech blogging and what motivates you to continue?
I’ve been writing for tech publications since 1991 and started writing columns in 2001. It’s something I kind of fell into, since it wasn’t part of my original job description when I rejoined PCMag in 2000. I’m motivated mostly by the response (positive and negative) I get whenever I add a new post.
2. How significant are the topics of cool hunting and trend spotting in the world of technology?
Very. People who love technology get excited about every new development. My role and the role of my staff is to find the cool stuff and present it to our audience as quickly as possible but with insight they might not find anywhere else.
3. How do you define a trend?
Repetition. Expansion of a core idea. You know you have a trend when at least three companies are planning similar products or technologies in a 12-month space.
4. How do you define cool?
I can’t, but I know it when I see it.
5. Do you need a culture of innovation to create something that is cool?
Apple would likely say yes, but innovation comes from some unusual places. Not too long ago a lone inventor walked into my office and showed me the first ever nano-tech capacitive gloves. Truly innovative and cool.
6. What is the best way to create an infectious idea, product or service?
Anyone can come up with an idea. It’s very hard to get others excited and invested in it. You have to pitch it in context, get people talking about it virally and, hopefully, have them all trying out the cool, new product or idea as well, so they can start telling others about it.
7. What is the key to innovation?
Great ideas and even better execution.
8. What are the most important trends you see in technology today?
Touch, communication, mobile, social networking, new computing form-factors, green technology.
9. What are your ambitions for PCMag.com?
To become the number one source for technology information, buying advice and guidance.
10. What is an example of a time where you have thrown away an existing idea to force yourself to find something new?
I have a folder full of half-written columns. Ideas that I started, but that simply went nowhere. I really try to avoid forcing ideas. When I do, you can always tell and they invariably fail online.
11. How do you reset yourself to be creative? Do you have any rituals?
I come up with some of my best ideas in the shower. I also clean my desk—that usually helps me clear my head.
12. Professionally, what do you want to be doing or studying in 10 years?
I often think I’d like to be a tech expert on a variety of media outlets: TV, online, radio, and even print (a book, maybe).
13. What are your most important hobbies?
Drawing, guitar-playing, creative writing, shooting hoops.
Check out Lance Ulanoff on Twitter.
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