Mike McCue

Co-Founder and CEO of Flipboard

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON May 11, 2016

Discussion

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@aidaofnubia
What is the biggest misconception about Flipboard that you wish to dispel?
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@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@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@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@igoradamenko_ · UI-developer at FunBox
@mmccue Awesome answer! It's really inspired. Thank you!
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@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@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@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
@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@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 · 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@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@tanmaydesai89 · will always go the extra mile.
What is the biggest challenge you foresee going ahead for Flipboard?
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@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@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@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@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@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@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@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@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@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@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@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@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@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@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@jdelavegs · Community Manager at Flipboard
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@nivo0o0 · Words @ProductHunt & @AngelList
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@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@leafbomb · Maker for the web
@mouadmohssine This is interesting, would love to hear more about this
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@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@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@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@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@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@websuccess · Partner Hot Ice Media / Web Success Team
@mmccue I completely agree. Thanks for creating such an awesome platform.
Janette Speyer@websuccess · Partner Hot Ice Media / Web Success Team
Hi Mike, how do you see using Flipboard for Social Selling?
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 Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
Hi Mike, thanks for joining us today! What does success mean to you?
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, 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@mmccue · ceo, flipboard
@ems_hodge I could have done lots of things better but every failure has educated me so I have few regrets.