Interview: How to Be “In the Know” with Alex Weaver
Alex Weaver is the Managing Editor at BostInno, a blog and go to site for tech and news, for people who want to be “In the Know.” We talk about how he’s the modern day version of “Don Draper” making things happen.
Below is a summary of our interview:
“Keep your eye on the ball.”
Alex was born and raised in southern Maine. Growing up through high school, he was a big scholar athlete. Ended up going to Bowdoin College, still in Maine. He wanted a small liberal arts college and stayed coastal. Then, like a lot of Mainers, he wanted to get out of the boondocks. He transitioned to San Francisco with his now wife did a lot of marketing and copywriting for a big fitness company. He loved that city and loved the job doing copywriting and marketing. After that, he decided the written word was what he wanted to do with his life. He got a Masters in Journalism at Northwestern. He wrote for a site in college called The Campus Word, with Chase the current founder of BostInno. He figured at the end of grad school, he should check in with that colleague as whatever he’s doing i’s probably cool and media related and in Boston; it had all three. Alex has been at BostInno for 2 years, started as a business writer, moved over to lifestyle writer, and became Managing Editor for a year.
His low point was monumental and pivotal – coming right out of copywriting and advertising firm was what he was put on this earth to do. Alex thought as an entry-level guy he could work his way up the ladder. What he found was the opposite. He had a hard time even getting in the door to talk to somebody. He was more than willing to start at the ground and it forced him to reevaluate some things and go a different direction. In Mad Men, Don Draper takes a mighty fall and that’s why he’s sort of referenced to Don Draper.
The first one was senior year in college as a beer columnist for Bowdoin College where he reviewed beers. His first one was in print the following day. The second event was getting into Northwestern. He was not expecting to get in there. And the third moment was being tapped as the managing editor at BostInno before he was even 30. Recently, he did turn 30.
Alex’s work now
BostInno is a technical innovative, digital news and event site, founded in Boston, also in Chicago (ChicagoInno) and D.C.(InTheCaptal). They push and focus on innovation. It has expanded to include education, city news, business, sports, health and fitness. It’s a full service site, but innovation is the backbone of their site. One way to differentiate themselves has been throwing a series of events of networking throughout the year. As a managing editor, he oversees the content on the site and deadlines.
He is the 5th guest in “Jackie’s Fave 5”. Jackie needed to get Alex on the show. Despite hating Boston, she loves the daily e-mails. What distinguishes BostInno from the rest is that it’s a young group of smart individuals writing for a city full of young, smart people.
The Boston Marathon coverage really changed the way people saw BostInno. Tech innovation was always their core, but you have to write about the things that people are talking about. Something on the horizon to check out is called 50 on Fire – the top 50 people in Boston who are “on fire.”
Book Alex Recommends:
Black Mass[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”center” asin=”1610391098″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Y9lj1u4mL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”purposerockst-20″ width=”103″]
Forcing himself to unplug from the world throughout the day. His life revolves around a laptop, a tablet, a phone and a TV. But you can learn a lot from just taking a stroll around downtown Boston.
His dad, who has been the best inspiration. Marcel Packet who’s a Chicago guy, where they met in Northwestern. He’s the most gifted editor. And last one is his wife. She’s a very refreshing soundboard for him at the end of the day.
Twitter is the #1 way to pick up information from targeted demographics and targeted interests.
Atavist – a website and an app.
What’s Your Purpose?
To not only tell the best stories in an interesting way, but to insight the reader to do something, to go try some fitness club, or trying a different suit, something that expands their minds and gets them out of their comfort zone.
Where to follow Alex
Top 3 Beer Recommendations
- The Substance – Portland, ME’s answer to Vermont’s Heady Topper. “Get it.”
- Lagunitas DayTime IPA – “Drinkable, experimental, tough to find. Nothing to not like there.”
- Peeper Ale – Another from Maine – Alex’s review: “One of the best labels going, too.”
If there’s some company or job you want, a passion you want to pursue, don’t wait for the opening, go and make it happen for yourself. Push open the doors.