A few nights ago, with the entire team in town for the first PandoMonthly event, Sarah organized a dinner at Blue Plate in San Francisco. As an occasional contributor, I decided to gate-crash. And I’m glad I did — because during the meal, investor Andrew Anker told a story that really resonated.

His was talking about his time at Wired (Anker was CEO of Wired Digital) and how editor Kevin Kelly had a simple rule: each issue of Wired should make 20% of its readers mad. The trick, of course, was to make sure it was a different 20% each month. “That,” said Anker, “is what defines a media company as opposed to a technology company. A media company doesn’t attempt to please all of its readers each month. It just tries to do the best work it can.”

Anker’s comments — and Kelly’s rule — summed up something I’ve been thinking for a while. That I’d much rather be a “media person” than a “technology person”.

The distinction is particularly relevant at the moment, where every day we see another technology company twisting its spine to apologize to users for storing data or failing to launch or changing its business model.…

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