Former Wired Editor: We Could’ve Been Google

As part of its 15th anniversary celebration, Wired has posted a few videos and articles in which its founders look back at what they got right and wrong in the early days of the magazine.


One of the videos features the magazine’s former executive editor, Kevin Kelly, whom The New York Times Magazine described in May 1995 as “Wired‘s Big Think guy” (“‘the balloon we follow around,’ as one staffer calls him”). In it, Kelly speculates on what the magazine and its Web sites might’ve become had the print side not been sold to Condé Nast in 1998 and Wired News not been sold to Lycos in 1999. (The two divisions were reunited in 2006 under the Condé Nast umbrella):

From the very beginning Wired believed in the digital platform as a publishing platform. And from the very beginning believed that the web would be a commercial medium, that it would run on advertising. And from the very beginning, Wired believed in ‘search.’… I believe that had Wired not been divided and sold that we might have actually arrived at the same place that Google had.

Win some; lose some.