Mike McCue

Mike McCue

Co-Founder and CEO of Flipboard

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON May 11, 2016

Discussion

Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
Hi - I’m Mike McCue, co-founder and CEO of Flipboard. I love building teams, products & companies. I’m excited to be here — ask me anything!” ***EDIT Thanks so much everyone for your GREAT questions. I've loved being here and will continue to respond to a few more questions in the next day or so. Please be sure to send me any thoughts you have about Flipboard (https://twitter.com/mmccue), especially as we gear up for the next edition.
Aida Boucheron
Aida Boucheron@aidaofnubia
What is the biggest misconception about Flipboard that you wish to dispel?
Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@aidaofnubia A lot of people think of Flipboard as just a news reader... This is understandable because we do a lot of news on Flipboard. But Flipboard is so much more than that because of how we enable people (enthusiasts, influencers, bloggers, experts, etc) to curate stories on Flipboard. Curation is the single best thing we do and when users discover this, they get a lot more out of Flipboard than using it purely as a reader.
Aida Boucheron
Aida Boucheron@aidaofnubia
@mmccue Thank you for highlighting this! Flipboard is a pretty fantastic reader but it really wasn't until I started curating magazines that I realized how empowered and empowering it is. You have an outstanding product here. Proud to be a fan.
Igor Adamenko
Igor Adamenko@igoradamenko_ · UI-developer at FunBox
Hey Mike! Thanks for this live! How do you see future of Flipboard? What's the next step?
Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@igoradamenko_ We started Flipboard because we believe in the power of great stories to move the world forward. We spend everyday building a social magazine (I.e. an experience, platform and ecosystem) that enables great stories to be discovered, curated, packaged, presented, and subsidized in a social, mobile world so that parents can be better parents, political leaders can be smarter, citizens can be more enlightened, artists can be more inspired, etc. We want to give people the stories that help them pursue their passion, no matter what that is, from other people who share that same passion. We've never veered from this purpose and we've made a lot of progress. However on a scale of 1-10 (10 being fully achieving our vision) we are only at a 2. We've only just begun.
Igor Adamenko
Igor Adamenko@igoradamenko_ · UI-developer at FunBox
@mmccue Awesome answer! It's really inspired. Thank you!
Noah Mittman
Noah Mittman@noahmittman · sputnik7.com/RESFEST alumnus
How much do you see blogging in the future of Flipboard? I see the app as juggling a very unique mixture of the federation of Medium, the scrapboarding of Tumblr, the watercooler of Twitter and the forwarding of Facebook. Curation is where Flipboard still leads the pack, and would giving louder voices to the curators themselves *within* Flipboard help?
Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@noahmittman This is a great question. We like the idea of embracing any platform where content and stories are created. We want to be the best place where those stories are hand picked and discovered by fellow enthusiasts, regardless of how or where they were created.
Aida Boucheron
Aida Boucheron@aidaofnubia
I was thrilled to learn that you will speak about "The Art of Curation" at Cannes Lions! (Voted to get this live streamed online for all.) In your view, what are the qualities of a well-curated Flipboard magazine?
Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@aidaofnubia Great Flipboard magazines have a point of view that only a person could lend (I.e. Not an algorithm). For example: I love Dusty Boots, Middle East News for the Perplexed, American Poverty, and Artrepreneur.
Neil McHugh
Neil McHugh@neil_mchugh
@mmccue @aidaofnubia re the algo comparison, I don't think this is talked about enough, where else can you search for a topic and see "hand picked" news, articles, information, quality is maintained, argument to say a higher quality than an algo would serve.
Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@neil_mchugh yes. This blend of people and algorithms is fascinating. Expect to see us do a LOT more with this blend (I.e. algorithms can be great for people to be better curators and to surface like minded curators you didn't know about)
Gijo Mathew
Gijo Mathew@gijo_mathew · Head of Product
Hi Mike, thanks for doing this. What is your take on all the competition out there today and what process do you go through to figure out how to stand out again in this space?
Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@gijo_mathew I love getting asked this question as an entrepreneur because it gives me a moment to share a first principle I live by: Stay true to your unique vision while focusing on your users and customers (NOT on your competition).
Tanmay Desai
Tanmay Desai@tanmaydesai89 · will always go the extra mile.
What is the biggest challenge you foresee going ahead for Flipboard?
Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@tanmaydesai89 Two major challenges we are focused on: 1) Evolving the product so it becomes the go to place to dive into any passion you have with an emphasis on seeing what others who share that passion are curating and 2) getting to profitability by satisfying the world's best brands
Kazuya Nakamura
Kazuya Nakamura@kzynakamura · Catapult Suplex
Hi Mike! I have two questions. 1) When was the first moment when you thought Flipboard will be a hit? 2) What was the most important traction channel at the early stage of Flipboard?
Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@kzynakamura I think we still have a ways to go to make Flipboard a true hit... I.e. the same level of awareness and adoption that something like Twitter or Snapchat has. We have lots more work to do but I can tell you I am more excited about Flipboard now than I ever have been... By a lot.
Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@kzynakamura Regarding your second question: the best thing we did in the early days was bet on the iPad and the tablet form factor before it was even announced. Steve Jobs was very enthusiastic about the fact that we had embraced the vision of the iPad and Apple's early enthusiasm for what we had built really got us off to an amazing start.
Aida Boucheron
Aida Boucheron@aidaofnubia
Hi, Mike! So excited to be able to chat with you today. What is the toughest compromise you've ever had to make while building Flipboard?
Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@aidaofnubia The toughest compromise is always when we should ship vs continue to refine. It gets harder to navigate this as you gain more users. Great product companies are mostly great because they learn how to navigate this compromise every day.
Jeremy Evans
Jeremy Evans@jeremynevans
Thanks for doing this Mike! Do you see a future for the article as a medium in journalism? Or do you think it'll eventually be replaced by videos, tweets, Snapchats, cards, messenger bots....?
Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@jeremynevans Yes!! Articles will live on and prosper. Videos, tweets, photos, audio will also continue to rise in importance for journalism but I fully expect that the classic, well thought through written piece will remain the cornerstone.
Jeremy Evans
Jeremy Evans@jeremynevans
@mmccue Thanks! In that case I wonder whether we'll see more separation between 'thought pieces' and raw information like news, sport, stocks etc?
Martin Pronk
Martin Pronk@martinpronk · owner | partner at noclichés | digidoen
Hi Mike, I'm a Flipboardfan since the early days. In my opinion it is one of the best tools to demonstrate the power of social media to the more conservative managers. Esp. the combination twitterlists and pocket is great. I'm curious whether you have the same experience. Thanks to you all from Holland for your great work. Kind regards! Martin
Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@martinpronk Thank you Martin. Yes Flipboard is a SOCIAL magazine. It's highly personal and connected to people who you want to hear from regardless of what social platform they are on. Twitter lists are awesome and even more awesome on Flipboard... (expect to see us do even more with lists soon :-)
AwesomismMom
AwesomismMom@deleted-548476 · CEO of AwesomismMom
Have you thought about using flipboard for education for special needs adults and kids? It could be used for life skills , job trading and so much more
Mia Quagliarello
Mia Quagliarello@miaq · Head of Curation, Flipboard
@awesomismmom This is a great idea. We are currently very much focused on the education community (here's where we write about inspiring stories and ways educators use Flipboard https://flipboard.com/@flipedu/f... ) We are overdue for a post on special needs cases. Will be contacting you for an interview soon! :)
AwesomismMom
AwesomismMom@deleted-548476 · CEO of AwesomismMom
@mia_quagliarello @flipedu actually we do. My son is 16 and autistic. Flipboard is a major part of our homeschooling.
Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@awesomismmom BTW, I LOVE your Flipboard magazine AWESSOMISMMOM. You and others like you are the reason I kiss my kids goodbye and go to work on building Flipboard everyday. Living life and working with purpose is fundamental to me and you are an inspiring example of that purpose being realized in my life.
Jenn de la Vega
Jenn de la Vega@jdelavegs · Community Manager at Flipboard
AwesomismMom
AwesomismMom@deleted-548476 · CEO of AwesomismMom
@mmccue thank you so much! We love flipboard. It truly has made a difference in my son's life. He loves making flipboard magazines and learns so much by doing them.
Niv Dror
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · VC at Shrug Capital
Hey Mike! thanks for joining us :) I think I remember reading somewhere that you showed Steve Jobs an early version of Flipboard ahead of the iPad launch? Have you ever worked with Steve, and what was that like?
Mouad Mohssine
Mouad Mohssine@mouadmohssine · Blogger with a vision.
Mr McCue, I came across something very interesting about Flipboard logo.. checkout this tweet from VP of marketing at Alibaba Group and tell me what you think! http://bit.ly/1q2A0Vp
Osman Ahmed
Osman Ahmed@ozzie · Maker for the web
@mouadmohssine This is interesting, would love to hear more about this
Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@mouadmohssine I can assure you that our logo was not inspired in anyway by that. We were very deliberate in creating a durable logo (and brand) that would be A) Timeless (I.e. We specifically avoided the photo realistic 3D/balloon animal style logs that were popular in 2010) and B) minimalistic and C) translucent to let the content shine through
sam
sam@greaterthan1000 · Assistant Principal. Father of twins.
What is the most creative use of Flipboard in education that you have seen? - A common narrative of teachers- students hate reading. More context is needed. Students dislike reading boring, uninspiring, and tired content. Pushing interesting relevant content to students seems like a no-brainer for increasing reading frequency.
Mia Quagliarello
Mia Quagliarello@miaq · Head of Curation, Flipboard
@greaterthan1000 Hi, love your question. I'll jump in for Mike since I've talked with a bunch of teachers about this. We've heard that collaborative magazines (https://about.flipboard.com/magm...) are a way that teachers involve students in shaping their own reading and current events discussions, so students use their "smart phones for something smart" and they feel invested in what they're learning. Here's a related story from a teacher in Texas: https://about.flipboard.com/educ... And another from a teacher in Baltimore, who ties reading on Flipboard to written independent study: https://about.flipboard.com/educ... Other teachers have used Flipboard to widen their students' horizons and provide a window onto the world: https://about.flipboard.com/educ... & https://about.flipboard.com/educ... Here's a good guide to spicing up education magazines with multimedia that's bound to get students' attention: https://about.flipboard.com/educ... We cover the education world here in our FlipEDU hub: https://flipboard.com/@Flipedu -- check it out! Feel free to contact us anytime for more details, resources, swag -- anything that can inspire you to use Flipboard in the classroom: flipedu@flipboard.com
sam
sam@greaterthan1000 · Assistant Principal. Father of twins.
@miaq @flipedu @flipboard Thanks for the resources, and taking time to answer my question. I love Flipboard, daily addiction. #FLIPEDU added the magazine I curate into Classroom Tech. A side note on consequences of using Flipboard- I search Flipboard each day for resources to share with teachers and others educators. Im an Assistant Principal. I began sharing so much, of course I created a magazine to store content. Somewhere along the line, I started writing about the resources I find each week. I started a weekly newsletter to send resources to teachers each week. Flipboard and Product Hunt are two honey pots of content discovery. I use both daily. The link to my newsletter is in my product hunt profile and here is the link to my magazine on Flipboard. https://flipboard.com/@samzakari...
Janette Speyer
Janette Speyer@websuccess · Partner Hot Ice Media / Web Success Team
Hi Mike, how do you plan to tie in traditional marketing and digital marketing using Flipboard?
Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@websuccess Flipboard is the ultimate platform for getting your stories out to the right group of people who really care. Because Flipboard is built around interests as our main organizing principle, people who really care about something are far more likely to see relevant stories that matter than on other platforms. Flipboard is less about "who you know" or "what's happening at this very moment" and more about following your interests and passions, regardless of your friends and in a more evergreen, timeless way... Great stories are ALWAYS great... Not just great because your friends shared them or because they happened in the last 10 seconds.
Janette Speyer
Janette Speyer@websuccess · Partner Hot Ice Media / Web Success Team
@mmccue I completely agree. Thanks for creating such an awesome platform.
Janette Speyer
Janette Speyer@websuccess · Partner Hot Ice Media / Web Success Team
Hi Mike, how do you see using Flipboard for Social Selling?
COSTAS ANDRIOPOULOS
COSTAS ANDRIOPOULOS@candriopoulos · https://medium.com/strictly-curious
Hi Mike and thank you for answering our questions. Which are the newsletters and websites that inspire you?
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
Hi Mike, thanks for joining us today! What does success mean to you?
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
You've achieved so many things and have so much to be proud of, but do you have anything that you regret or would perhaps have done differently with retrospect?
Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@ems_hodge I could have done lots of things better but every failure has educated me so I have few regrets.
AwesomismMom
AwesomismMom@deleted-548476 · CEO of AwesomismMom
I love Flipboard. I find it to be an awesome education tool for my son, he is autistic and uses it for so many learning tools
Janette Speyer
Janette Speyer@websuccess · Partner Hot Ice Media / Web Success Team
@awesomismmom You and me both. I know for a fact that Flipboard is making a difference to a small school in Cambodia.
Hi, I wonder what are your principles on growing your business? As we know that you have founded or co-founded companies before Flipboard.
Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@haryaputra I wrote a Medium post about this. https://medium.com/@mmccue/the-m...
@mmccue Wow great! Thanks Mr McCue!
Benji Taylor
Benji Taylor@deleted-168041
Good answers, Mike.
Chris Van Dusen
Chris Van Dusen@vandusen · CEO Parcon Media
Hello Mike! If curation is Flipboards biggest differentiator how are you hammering that value proposition home? It seems that position gets lost and lumped into the reader category. What's next for Flipboard?
Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@vandusen I totally agree with you Chris. This is the emphasis for our fourth generation Flipboard. Stay tuned.
Louis Svugr
Louis Svugr@louis_sugar · I make and market stuff.
Hi Mike, we have all heard about the brainstorm about a better internet that created flipboard but how did you picture it at that stage? what features did your visionary product have, what features was it missing in comparison to today's version of flipboard? When and why did you iterate?
Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@louis_sugar GREAT question. So much to say here but running out of time. See my previous answer about future of Flipboard for some related thoughts here
Jeremy Pepper
Jeremy Pepper@jspepper · Consultant
Hi Mike. TellMe was the darling of the dotcom era and went on to pretty much, well, do all the voice activation at ATT and others. Do you think you and Angus will ever work together again?
Javi
Javi@ios_javi · Digital Comm Major. Aspiring PM.
Will Flipboard have a feature where users can paste links in the web version? I find lots of great articles on my desktop computer and find it frustrating that only the mobile app has a paste link feature
Mia Quagliarello
Mia Quagliarello@miaq · Head of Curation, Flipboard
@ios_javi Hi there, Javi. You can do this today! Simply install the Flip It button to your browser and you can flip anything from the Web into a Flipboard Magazine. You can grab the bookmarklet here https://about.flipboard.com/tools/
Javi
Javi@ios_javi · Digital Comm Major. Aspiring PM.
@mia_quagliarello Thank you so much!
Mia Quagliarello
Mia Quagliarello@miaq · Head of Curation, Flipboard
@ios_javi My pleasure!
Terry Porter
Terry Porter@tporter2 · Photographer & Internet Addict
Hey Mike, what can Flipboard Magazine Makers expect from the next version of Flipboard?
Tanmay Desai
Tanmay Desai@tanmaydesai89 · will always go the extra mile.
Do you think that the way we discover, read and process articles/news, there is something still MISSING? I mean so many sources are out there, number of friends sharing articles. It becomes really frustrating at times.
Igor Adamenko
Igor Adamenko@igoradamenko_ · UI-developer at FunBox
> I love building teams, products & companies Mike, tell us about others products where you involved, please.
Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@igoradamenko_ Twitter (as an advisor). TreeRing (as an investor) Tellme (2000s). Netscape (late 90s). WebFX (mid-90s) . SideBar (early 90s). Night Mission & Jungle Jim (80s).
HARSHA
HARSHA@harshinde · another product loving geek
Hi Mike, I find Flipboard to be the best curation tool I use in tandem with Twitter. Twitter for discovery and Flipboard for curation of the ones I find interesting from my feed. Are there any plans of integrating better with Twitter? Considering new apps like nuzzel which are doing this and getting traction, what are your thoughts on the future of Flipboard?
Mike McCue
Mike McCue@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@harshinde Yes! I've always loved Twitter and in fact Flipboard was originally 100% powered by Twitter. Now that Twitter has re-embraced developers under Jack's leadership, expect to see a lot of goodness happen here. Stay tuned.
HARSHA
HARSHA@harshinde · another product loving geek
@mmccue Wonderful!! Looking forward to some cool stuff with the better integration with Twitter. As a last request, could we look forward to a newsletter feature on Flipboard which would allow us to be better engaged with both our followers and the magazines we follow. I understand Flip2mail is serving that purpose but it is rudimentary in its current form and I believe the newsletter service could also act as a source of revenue for Flipboard just the way @therevue is operating at the moment.
jon vlassopulos
jon vlassopulos@vlasso · CEO & Founder, Tastemates
Hi Mike - do you feel Flipboard can move beyond news to also help people discover Media & Entertainment at a more granular level?
Chris Bouronikos
Chris Bouronikos@cbouronikos
Care to share current number of daily users and how effective your ad strategy (of whole page ads between flips) has been so far?
Javi
Javi@ios_javi · Digital Comm Major. Aspiring PM.
Will Flipboard have a feature where users can paste links?
Janette Speyer
Janette Speyer@websuccess · Partner Hot Ice Media / Web Success Team
What future functionality enhancements do you plan adding to the Flipboard app?
Brad Brooks
Brad Brooks@ninthart · Graphic Designer, Grafica by the Sea
Hi Mike. Thanks for Flipboard, it's probably my favourite app and I've been a supporter of you guys forever. My question is this: have you gotten any further at sorting the trolling in the comments out?
Rajil VEMBE
Rajil VEMBE@vrajil · Software Developer, BantuHub Foundation
Hello Mike what's flipboard business plan ?
Yanir Nulman
Yanir Nulman@yanirnulman · Cornell 2020
It seems as though user-based content is becoming increasingly popular (Example: Medium). How does Flipboard distinguish its product from others while accommodating new content from non-verified sources?
Janette Speyer
Janette Speyer@websuccess · Partner Hot Ice Media / Web Success Team
This is a tall order. I visited a favela in Brazil last December. We handed out Xmas presents to the kids. What are the chances of Flipboard ever working directly with Apple to provide iPads and IT to these poor areas? I'll be the violence goes down. Once you provide an education to a kid in need you offer them a gift for life.