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Mike McCue, CEO of Flipboard – How is Mobile Changing the Publishing Industry?


Mike McCue, CEO of Silicon Valley-based Flipboard, began his presentation today by displaying a sleek and shiny 1967 Red Ferrari (in pictures of course) to lead into his talk on the impact that mobile is currently having on the publishing industry.

Referencing the classy Ferrari shown on-screen that defied aerodynamics in its design but was produced originally and solely for its beauty, Mr. McCue said that in designing products we “sometimes have to ignore the data.”

He continued to elaborate on the differences in design approaches and how they relate to the mobile Internet. Whereas magazines know how to present content in a beautiful way, the web only presents the showcased article on just a tiny portion of the page. Ads and banners crowd the rest of the site, leaving basically no white space to relax the eye.

However, Apple revolutionized this by introducing the iPad and making content look just as beautiful as on print. Mr. McCue said the essence of this revolution is that now we can have advertising with emotion. This is exactly what mobile Internet is doing in the publishing industry – producing clear and beautiful, print-like advertising. Capturing emotion is part of the reason behind the fact that 85% of ad dollars are being sent offline versus online.

In the future, Mr. McCue foresees that mobile Internet will feel much more like a physical magazine – lots of white space with great layouts, photography and typography. This is the field in which Flipboard operates, to allow publishers to present content in this manner on the iPad and then monetize the creation.

The most important, Mr. McCue believes, is that beauty and emotion will be absolutely critical to the development of mobile Internet.

Edgard Duque

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