John Cook. Joys and challenging of starting GeekWire.
Geek At Sea

Geekwire is a Seattle tech publication that covers the intersection of technology, culture, innovation and all things related to the geek world. They launched on March 7, 2011.

John Cook is the co-founder of

John Cook loved the the flexibility of remote work while starting Geekwire, but he also admits it was a constant battle to not be distracted in front of his family.

Find time wherever you can.

John Cook's wife, for example, handles their son's morning routine, while John works. The extra time then enables John to walk his kid to school. Then, John and his wife walk to his office together, for some extra quality time.

He likes aspects of his dad's career and then there are elements that are bothersome to him when his dad cannot always be present.

Right now, GeekWire has many new opportunities ahead, which has made the current season nearly as busy as it was in the beginning. Media is a hard business and an ever-changing business.

Flexibility and moving fast are key in the new media world. Geekwire has the benefit of being an online platform that is not dependent on overhead like a traditional newspaper would. There is no printing press, no trucks delivering physical papers. The platform that they have chosen allows Geekwire to tell stories in various creative ways.

John and Todd (co-founders) come from traditional, news-driven journalistic backgrounds. While there is baggage with their legacy media background, their "new school" thinking and commitment to high-quality journalism makes for a desirable combination.

When you are committed to high quality journalism, and your platform is flexible and nimble, it is possible to build a community with high level of trust, and to create an experience that people love.

John says that if people aren't getting mad, it means they are not doing their job well enough. Journalist's job is not to be a PR person or a marketing department for a company. Their job is to produce honest and factual reporting.

John Cook and Todd Bishop have been rooted in the Seattle startup community for a long time, and in many instances they have been connected with the founders for a long time too. People respect their role as a media organization that tells an honest story.

Keep working on the relationships. Your greatest enemies today could become your best sources of information tomorrow.

GeekWire has an interesting perspective since they work on the front-lines of entrepreneurship. Much of what they write and talk about (artificial intelligence, space travel, etc.) are things that may come to fruition during his son's lifetime. John wants his son to be exposed to all of the cool things that GeekWire covers by taking him on assignment and allowing him to participate.

John wants to instill a work ethic in a deep and meaningful way as his parents demonstrated for him. He hopes to stress the value of entrepreneurship and being a constant learner.

John Cook sees dramatic shifts and anticipates that work will look much different in 20-30 years compared to now. Our society is becoming more entrepreneurial.

John remembers working non-stop and not eating had detrimental impacts during the 2 year period of starting GeekWire. He began playing soccer in the middle of the day, running some, drinking smoothies every morning and realized he was much happier. Healthy body and healthy mind go hand-in-hand.

Start earlier in the process. Don't let fear and the potential of change hold you back. Mix things up an do not become too comfortable.

Keep perspective on what you have been given. Do not let satisfaction come from things.

He finds it fascinating and loves telling stories and connecting people through those.

John believes it is currently under attack and that it is critical to our democracy to have a free press that is respected and able to operate on its own.

powered by SmashNotes