Interview Pete Cashmore – Founder of Mashable
Pete Cashmore is just 22 years old and is the founder of Mashable, one of the most visited blogs in the world. Mashable offers news on social networking and social software and attracts millions of visitors every month.
1) Tell us about your main project, Mashable? Why did you launch Mashable? Where are you at now with Mashable?
I launched Mashable in 2005 to get up to speed with all the new services launching on the web. I wanted to launch my own startup and needed to conduct research; very soon, Mashable itself became my startup.
2) I think Mashable is a great name – what are the origins of the name? What does it mean to you?
“Mashable” comes from the “mashups” trend. In recent years, people have been combining pieces of the web in interesting ways; you might want to plot photos from your Flickr account on Google Maps, for instance. You might also want to combine music, videos and text from different services. Whenever you combine parts of the web like this, it’s called a “mashup”. These days, virtually everything on the web is remixable…Mashable, in other words.
3) Have you had any particular challenges running such a successful website like Mashable so young?
Not really. The biggest challenge for a blogger is finding the energy to keep going – luckily, young people have plenty of that.
4) Mashable describes itself as The Social Networking Blog. In your opinion what are the next big steps / hot trends for social networking?
There are two huge trends going forward: aggregation and mobile social networking. Aggregation is bringing together all your social networks: you might have a Facebook profile, a MySpace page, photos on Flickr, videos on YouTube and other fragments distributed around the web. A new breed of services is trying to bring those parts together to make our online lives easier.
Mobile social networking speaks for itself: people are now sending constant updates to their friends using services like Twitter, while web-based social networks like Facebook and MySpace can be used from mobile devices. This will lead to a lot more overlap between social networking on the web and in real life: you can upload photos to a web profile the second you take them, or add a new friend to your Facebook network moments after you meet in the real world. And let’s not forget live video streaming from mobile phones: you can now watch events live, as they happen, thanks to services like Qik.com.
5) You are well known for high quality content – do you have any tips for quality blog posts and also for recruiting writers?
Generally we like writers who can take complex ideas and explain them in simple terms: we hire people who have deep knowledge combined with good language skills.
6) If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what business related advice would you give yourself?
Work smarter, not harder.
7) Do you think that entrepreneurialism is something that is in your blood? Or is it something that can be learned?
I’m sure it can be learned, but for a lot of entrepreneurs it seems to come from their character or early, early experiences. Personally, I’m just not good at obeying authority figures.
9) Do you have any favourite business related, webmaster or personal development related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?
No, I never remember what I read; I remember experiences. I find it best to dive right in and learn the hard way.
12) If the Internet had not existed – what do you think you would be doing?
I’d possibly be studying law or politics.
13) What do you like best about the Internet?
The unlimited opportunities.
14) What do you like least about the Internet?
15) Have you any plans (personal or business) that you can share with us about your future plans / goals / lifetime goals?
Oh, I’m not plotting a lifelong course just yet; there are too many opportunities right now to take just one path.