So he went and got a degree in physics and a job at Los Alamos.
In the end, his lineage won out and he ended up working for the journals Nature and Science before moving on to The Economist. Then, in 2000, Chris Anderson was recruited by Conde Nast to run its technology magazine Wired. Anderson’s reign at Wired started off shaky, but he notes that in retrospect, the end of the dot com bubble was the best time for him to take over the magazine.
“I was able to screw up because in those days you could not succeed in that environment,” Anderson told us. “So, if you’re going to fail, fail in an environment where it’s impossible to succeed.”
Anderson made a bet that the Internet would continue to grow despite the stock market crashing, and time and time again he had his magazine declare the Internet had become ubiquitous. No one believed this positive spin however; so, the magazine had to do something different.
“Eventually, it was science that saved us,” Anderson declared.
With 18 months of experience under his belt as Wired’s Editor-in-Chief, Anderson released an issue of the magazine that strayed away from technology and focused on the cultural differences between science and religion. This issue served as the launching pad for Wired’s longstanding dominance in the technology magazine industry.
Today, Chris Anderson is still Editor-in-Chief of Wired, a best-selling author, and the founder of a robot-manufacturing company. And he has 5 kids.
Our exclusive 40-minute interview with Chris Anderson in presented in its entirety below. We’ll also publish highlights from it over the next few days.
This interview is part of our Inspiring Performers series, presented with limited commercial interruption.
Produced by Will Wei & Kamelia Angelova.
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