In his tribute to Steve Watkins, an editor with Outdoor Photography magazine, landscape artist Bruce Percy noted:
“He was completely enthusiastic, encouraging, supportive, and willing to give contributors to the magazine free rein in coming up with ideas.”Bruce Percy, Photographer
I started reflecting on my own past and all the great editors I have worked with in the past, and those qualities were present in all of them: David Churbuck at Forbes.com, Blaise Zerega and Jason Pontin at Red Herring, Josh Quittner at Business 2.0, David Lidsky at Fast Company, and more recently, Nicholas Thompson at The New Yorker and now at Wired.
When I think of legendary editors — Jim Michaels (Forbes,) David Remnick (New Yorker,) Graydon Carter (Vanity Fair,) Jann Wenner (Rolling Stone,) Kevin Kelly (Wired,) and Anna Wintour (Vogue) — they have all benefited from one more thing: they were able to consistently predict the zeitgeist and taste over the course of decades. That is also why I think Steve Jobs was one of the greatest editors who never edited a magazine.
December 16, 2019, San Francisco