Meet the creators of the Meaningful Content Fund, who would like you to click on this important story, not that cat video.
What is the meaning of the Internet? Is it a moving narrative about a boy whose brain could unlock the mystery of autism, or is it a gif of a litter of kittens riding a Roomba, falling off one by one?
Most Internet users—from casual browsers to hardcore Redditors—like to think they are above clickbait, yet inevitably we are all lured into posts like “35 White-Girl Mysteries That Desperately Need To Be Solved.” It’s a Sisyphean fight to rise about mindless listicles and misleading stories that overpromise and underdeliver, but one renegade group has been leading an underground charge to right the Internet’s wrongs. Okay, so it’s more like a confab of white-collared execs in the publishing and tech industries who email each other a few times a week—not exactly Internet vigilantes—but can they help create a more meaningful Internet?
Here’s a conversation tip from #34 on our Most Creative People of the year list, comedian Marc Maron.
“I don’t make a list of questions. Ever. I think a lot of my interviews are driven by my need to feel connection. You listen and when you hear intonations, you hear feelings. It’s just feeling where there’s something more, getting them to a place that they’re not usually.”
To gather ideas, Chang led his design team on a city-hopping observation tour around the globe, from hot-air-balloon rides in Africa to Singapore’s Skypark on the Marina Bay. “We were able to come up with a new design paradigm,” he says. And with it, a cool factor to rival Apple’s.
Every day, as his every move is monitored in Beijing, Ai Weiwei does not silently suffer the blows of being an enemy of the Communist Party. “I have a voice,” he says, “and I have a lot to say before going to my grave.”
Having reinvented himself a few dozen times, he clearly feels the occasional need to destroy something beautiful. And it’s his knack for creative destruction that earned him a spot as one of our 100 Most Creative People 2012. He joins us today to talk about the three businesses he’s hatched, all of which have a shot at shaking up entertainment as we know it.The One & Only Golden Tickets is a Willy Wonka approach to online concerts, offering all access to digital VIPs. His digital ticketing business, VyRT, is the more like the general admission component—don’t call either sophisticated service “streaming,” though. On the artist side, he’s forged The Hive, a powerful social media consultancy based on best practices he picked up with his own band and their rabid social followers.
“Fred Armisen and I are obsessed with the minutiae of a situation. What is fomenting the most discomfort in a relationship? It’s usually where someone’s belief system kind of goes off the rails. That’s where we want to start exploring, because that moment is where you feel almost your worst.”
His band, Thirty Seconds to Mars, once invited fans to submit photos of themselves, for a chance to be on the band’s next album cover; it yielded 2,000 different fan covers. He realized, “I’d prefer 1,000 followers, friends, and fans that actually meant something, rather than 10 million that weren’t engaged.” So, he launched: The Hive, which runs social-media management and digital marketing for his band and others such as Jessie J and Semi Precious Weapons.
Welcome to our annual celebration of business innovators who dare to think differently. They’re the ones taking risks and discovering surprising new solutions to old problems. This year, they tell you exactly how they do what they do.