I used to work at Wired when it was cool and edgy. Back in the mid-1990s. It was probably the coolest job a early 20 something could get. My boss was Mark Frauenfelder, the founder of bOing bOing and the now Editor-in-Chief of Make Magazine (which is extremely cool!). Yup, it’s OK to be jealous!
My uber-bosses were Louis Rossetto and Jane Metcalfe, who provided a work place that was cool before Google thought it invented cool work places in the technology industry. Chef made meals? Check! Dogs in the work place? Check! Cool DJ at work, cookies baked in the afternoon, co-workers who were brilliant? Check, check and check. Oh and yes, I did do laundry at work too…(not so cool)
Why am I reminiscing?
Today, a former co-worker at Wired posted an old Netizen episode and shared it with the rest of our mailing list, a list comprised of former Wired-lings. I took a mini-break and watched 5 minutes while I took in some caffeine and it actually got me a little misty eyed. And no, it is not because I missed Todd Lappin‘s scruffy good looks!
I was misty-eyed because it reminded me of why I wanted to work in the Internet and Web industry in the first place. The sense of optimism I had about how the industry would re-shape how we communicate with the world and each other. How the world of commerce would be transformed, helping individuals to connect directly with producers of the products. That we could take media (print, audio, video) with us anywhere, anytime.
I was one of those people who started working in on the Internet (before it was cool to head into technology during the frenzy of the late 1990s) because I WAS A BELIEVER! I believe that technology would change the world and I wanted to be a part of it.
Am I now a lot more jaded?
I’ve pretty much only work in this industry and have done a lot and experienced a lot in digital media distribution.
But today, for that 5 minutes, I remember what I felt when I was 22 years old.