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John Battelle, WIRED Magazine, Boing Boing And Federated Media (INTERVIEW)

 - Feb 21, 2007
John Battelle was one of the original founders of Wired Magazine, founder of The Industry Standard, Brand Manager of Boing Boing, and now the founder of Federated Media Publishing. In short, John Battelle is a serial Trend Hunter. His love for the next big thing and entrepreneurial spirit has driven him to some pretty cool ventures.

You may have read about John's latest venture, Federated Media in last week's BusinessWeek. The Sausalito startup is the world's premier agency connecting global advertisers to the largest blogs on the net (including Trend Hunter).

As a member of the Federated Media family, I can verify that John's latest venture serves an attractive niche: By outsourcing advertising to FM, we have more time at Trend Hunter to focus on building the Trend Hunter community and adding wicked trends.

10 Questions With John Battelle

1. You have been involved in a number of highly successful ventures, including Wired and Boing Boing, what inspired you?

In general, it struck me that the thing those companies made needed to exist in the world, and yet it was not extant. I scratched an itch, I suppose. With FM, for example, I waited for two years - I was sure someone would do what we ended up doing!

2. What are your ambitions for Federated Media Publishing?

I very much hope FM will be remembered as proving the model of author- and publisher-driven media. It's as simple as that. I think independent creators of great community driven content should have a business model that supports them. That's FM's mission.

3. How significant are the topics of cool hunting and trend spotting in the entrepreneurial world?

Well, where I live, everyone feels like they are part of that world, all day long. So I'd say central!

4. How do you define a trend?

When more than three sources I trust tell me about it in a way that endorses it.

5. How do you define cool?

Hmmm. That's more personal. I guess if I like it and want to emulate it or make it my own in some way.

6. What is the key to innovation and best way to create an infectious new idea?

Man, I wish I had the answer to that. But I think it's best to keep it a secret, as it seems that is what it wishes to be.

The best way to create an infectious ides is to try to first find it yourself.

7. How do you divide your time between your different ventures?

I work about 10-12 hours a day, but I don't see much of it as work. I love the interaction and the intellectual challenges. I intermix all the things I do, but my main focus is FM. In general, all the things I do complement each other. My work on writing (the last book, the next one) are all about taking time to think deeply about the markets FM is in. Same for Web 2.0, the conference, and the blog.

8. How do you reset yourself to be creative?

Yoga and exercise. Time with family and a very clear directive of family over work.

9. Professionally, what do you want to be doing or studying in 10 years?

I have no idea, and I hope that remains infinitely!

10. What are your most important hobbies?

Physical- yoga, mountain biking, and writing.

Thanks John!