Josh Quittner: After 16 Years at Musty, Old Time Inc., the Writer and Editor Joins Hot Startup Flipboard

ADWEEK, June 27, 2011 | Go to article overview

Josh Quittner: After 16 Years at Musty, Old Time Inc., the Writer and Editor Joins Hot Startup Flipboard


Pardon the pun, but weren't you a Time lifer?

In a funny kind of way, I wanted to leave Time Inc. almost right away. I guess I never considered myself a big company kind of a guy, but the amazing thing about Time Inc. is it's an entrepreneurial place. Every couple of years, they gave me something new to do, right up until about a year ago.

So why a startup?

I'm 54 years old. I have always wanted to work for a startup, and I've watched two enormous tech cycles go by, and I've watched from the sidelines. I'd very much felt like this was one that I wanted to participate in.

Why this startup?

I believe that successful media has to do three things: It has to be able to atomize, it has to be able to aggregate, and it has to be able to make its content available everywhere. And if you believe those three things, I think you pretty much have to pass through Flipboard to be able to achieve those objectives.

This isn't a bubble, then?

I think that if this is a bubble, it's a big, long bubble. [Laughs]

Sounds like you're sitting pretty with your Time Warner stock.

I certainly own a bunch. [Laughs]

What exactly is Flipboard?

First and foremost, it's a social magazine, meaning that it is put together on the fly based in large part on the recommendations of your friends. So its first incarnation included taking your Facebook feed--or your Twitter feed or your Instagram feed--and laying each one of those things out in a very magazine-like way for that lean-back, leisurely browsing experience. I think as it evolves--as we start to sign up more media partners from all types of publishing ventures, magazines, newspapers, blogs--we'll start to bring more and more content in there, surfacing the social layer and allowing the best of that content to come to the fore. …

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