Interview with Brad McCarty(@BradMcCarty)
Today's interview is with Brad McCarty of The Next Web. Brad is the Director of Business Developement at TNW and gave me some awesome answers to my five questions.
What is it like working at The Next Web?
TNW is an interesting animal. Since we were a conference before we were a blog, there's always a focus on our real-world events. We've been fortunate to be able to expand from a single event in Amsterdam to now having a major conference in Sao Paulo and another upcoming in the US.
We're a truly global team, and we're very lean. At present we have 14 full time writers. There are sites that send 14 people to cover a single event. We're always looking for the right people to hire, and will gladly take someone with little or no experience who fits into our culture before we'll take a jerk with a wall full of blogging awards.
Why is TNW different from other web publications?
We've always prided ourselves on having a global focus, and that reflects in our readership and traffic. We see a hefty amount of our traffic coming from Europe. It's an interesting situation because there aren't many publications that have a heavy focus on different parts of the world. We're seeing increased readership from Latin America, Australia, New Zealand and even behind the firewall of China. That global focus means that we often times won't cover things that are only going to affect the US, which is definitely not something that you see happen very much in tech writing.
What does your workspace look like?
I work from home, in a "Florida Room" that we've converted into an office. My wife sits along one wall, I'm on the other. We have two rats, a guinea pig and a dog to keep us company.
My workspace is very strange, because it's a hybrid of all the things that I spend time doing. I've been a DJ for 18 years, and I have a deep love for playing guitar. So my "desk" is actually a keyboard stand that I've specially modified to hold my computers. On the top shelf you'll find a DJ mixer, and a pair of Dynaudio studio monitors. Below that sits my MacBook Pro and an HP Envy (I'm a gamer, so I still run a Windows machine that is dedicated only to that).
iPad Mini. Yes or no? Why?
Yes to the iPad Mini. When I travel I don't even bother to take a laptop anymore, since 99.9% of what I do consists of writing in apps, answering emaiil and things that work equally as well with my full-sized iPad and a keyboard. It's definitely a laptop replacement for me.
But what I find is that, when I'm just at home and watching TV or reading, I never use my iPad. I'd love for that to change, because I adore the device, but 10 inches is too big for comfortable couch time in my opinion. I think the Mini addresses this beautifully, and I fully intend on owning one as soon as possible.
What can we expect from you and TNW in the future?
From me personally, you can expect to see me writing less, but doing more in general. I branched out from the editorial side of TNW a couple of months ago because we needed someone to focus on the financial and business side of things. As a company there's only so far that you can go when you really don't have someone paying attention to how you will afford to move forward. For nearly 4 years, I feel like that's where we were and we were reaching a brick wall in our growth. Moving me into the business development position enables us to leapfrog from where we were, and make sure that great writers will have a place to call home.
I've also recently opened the door to accepting mentorship positions **http://uptake.co/mentorship**, and that's been a frightening dose of responsibility. I can write blog posts all day long that give very general advice (or, as my friend Micah calls it "Startup Yoda" stuff) ** http://learntoduck.net/startup-yoda/ ** but when you really get down to business with a company that has flesh and blood people behind it, that's a completely different story. It's challenging in ways that I never imagined, and rewarding beyond comprehension.
I think I've finally, after years of trying other things, found what I will do until I simply can't do anymore. I genuinely love my job, and I still think that TNW is one of the greatest companies in the world. We're so un-corporate that life stays interesting and yet we're finally at the point of being organized enough to not drive us all insane. It's a pretty incredible place to be.
Probably some of the best answers I have ever gotten. Brad, thanks so much for getting back to me and with such detail.