February 19, 2015
Thanks to digital innovation, we average Joes have become virtuosic at connecting with one another””instantly, across the globe, in ways both intimate and en masse. The biggest news stories of the past decade have revolved around the way we find and share our news, and we demand that these methods constantly refine themselves. As Chief Strategy Officer and former Editor in Chief of influential digital news website Mashable.com, Adam Ostrow has been watching the evolution with equal parts enthusiasm and awe.
Adam Ostrow, a University of Maryland journalism grad, was hired by Mashable founder Pete Cashmore in 2007, becoming “employee number two.” Over the next four years, he penned more than 2,500 articles and directed a news team that grew ten times over. Since 2011, he has overseen areas like branded content, video, licensing, and international expansion. “It’s been quite a ride from working remotely out of my basement in Virginia to where we are today,” Ostrow says. “We have a beautiful new headquarters in New York and offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and London, as well as staff in Sydney and a growing network of journalists around the world.” The news team is now overseen by Reuters and New York Times alum Jim Roberts.
Mashable””which employs approximately 170 people (with plans for 100 more this year)””has more than 21 million social followers and over 42 million monthly readers. To tend to readers’ voracious appetite for content, the site covers a spectrum of world events and topics. (An average of three Mashable articles are shared every second.) “Mashable was one of the first publishers to understand the importance of social as a distribution channel for content,” Ostrow says.
The gig has allowed Ostrow to travel throughout Asia, Australia, and Europe, and meet some rather boldfaced individuals along the way. (“Being invited to the White House and meeting the President with my sister is something I’ll never forget.”) He’s regularly invited to speak before major corporations and has been a key presenter at major media events such as Cannes Lions, SXSW Initiative, and Advertising Week. “My most nerve-wracking speaking engagement was the TED Talk I gave in Edinburgh, Scotland back in 2011,” he admits. “I probably rehearsed that five-minute speech 50 times.” His practice made perfect: Adam Ostrow’s TED Talk, called “After Your Final Status Update,” has been viewed more than a million times.
Successes aside, Ostrow’s a low-key and humble fellow who loves his work, and the city about him. “My wife and I try to take advantage of the city’s parks when we can””especially Prospect Park in Brooklyn and Gantry Plaza in Long Island City, which is where we live,” he says. “I also make a point to walk by the Abraham Lincoln statue in Union Square Park and give it a tap every morning on the way to work for good luck.”
Good to know that one of the great chroniclers of the Connected Generation is taking cues from Honest Abe.
“Being in New York, you can see first-hand how digital and technology are transforming so many aspects of business and society. Media, advertising, financial tech, food, commerce, and our interaction with public spaces are all being transformed in New York.”
Some New York companies that I’m particularly fond of, and use personally, include ZocDoc, Bonobos, and Etsy. My wife is a big fan of BirchBox and Refinery29. I also really admire WeWork and General Assembly“¦ They both understand how technology is revolutionizing the economy, and have created businesses that play on that trend and are having a massive impact in New York and around the world.
ZocDoc: An online medical care scheduling service which allows patients to see doctor’s open appointment times and book instantly online, fill out waiting room forms, and provide and peruse provider reviews.
Bonobos: The largest U.S. clothing brand ever to be built on the web, which offers shopping-averse guys sharp, stylish tailoring””plus free shipping.
Etsy: The renowned peer-to-peer handmade and vintage e-commerce marketplace.
BirchBox: An enthusiastically received service that ships personalized monthly assortments of samples to one’s door and sells highlighted products online.
Refinery29: A female-focused yet universally appealing fashion and trend site that brings beauty, entertainment, and locally tailored content to millions of monthly visitors.
WeWork: A co-working office space site that provides vital professional services and””most key””dynamic work environments to companies in need of small, temporary, or satellite spaces.
General Assembly: A global community of digital professionals that allows visitors to connect with relevant courses in technology, design, and business.
With multiple daily flights to New York from London, it couldn’t be easier to book your holiday with Virgin Atlantic.
What do you think of Adam Ostrow’s favourite NYC contemporaries? Are you a fan of Mashable.com? Let us know in the comments section below.
Written by Andrew Stone