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Wired-A Romance Hardcover – 1 Jul 2003
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From the Inside Flap
ectric Kool-Aid Acid Test</i> for our own age, the story of a dreamer who turned American media upside down―and suffered the consequences<br><br><br>Louis Rossetto had no money, no home, no job. Five years later he owned the hottest magazine in America and was poised to become an international tycoon, with America’s most powerful financiers by his side. <br><br>Rossetto was the founder and editor of<i> Wired,</i> whose hyperactive Day-Glo pages proclaimed that every American institution was obsolete. Instantly, <i>Wired,</i> was everywhere―on television, passed around the halls of Congress, displayed in the office of the president of the United States. <i>Wired,</i>’s headquarters in San Francisco became a pilgrimage site for everybody who wanted to be at the white-hot center of the digital revolution. Not since the early days of Jann Wenner and<i> Rolling Stone</i> had anybody so brilliantly channeled the enthusiasms of his era. <b
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The amazing part of the story is the vision/pig-headedness of founder Louis Rossetto, without whom none of it would have happened but without whom the magazine/company/entity may have continued on the course he set out.
There's the small start, lack of money, despeately seeking funding, angels helping out, crazy kick-off, anarchic setups, waaay too quick an expansion plan, more crazy characters and websites by the dozen. In the midst of this, a unique magazine was born and did incredibly well but that gets lost in the story-telling and in retrospect I wish Gary Wolf had taken some time to run through highlights, features and even included some of the covers. From memory, there was some startling stuff going.
I certainly remember working in publishing on another magazine - Internet Magazine - which happened to be printed at the same printers in Birmingham. The printers used to be amazed at the special colours, over-printing, in fact any and all extremes of printing that the UK version used to go through. Very expensive but fascinating to see in action. I know how much it cost to print the magazine and there was no way that the Guardian/Wired UK version would last but then I never saw a need for it.
So, back to the book. Buyable? Only if you're a magazine geek like me or (also like me) am fascinated with that time in media/new media. I'd recommend borrowing it, it worth the time to read it, if only to shake your head and thank the gods you weren't in the middle of this very public car crash.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I have read Wired since its beginning but have tossed my copies. After reading this book I bought a nearly complete set of issues on Ebay for the first seven years (1993-2000), including the premier issue from January 1993, thinking I would enjoy reading some of the early issues again. In any case, they look nice in my library.
The author is a Wired editor with first-hand knowledge of all but the earliest of Rossetto's years at Wired.
If you are fond of the history of Silicon Valley (as I am), then this is for you. Otherwise there is not much here for the average Joe.
The founder of Wired, Louis Rossetto, is strong-willed man and in the early 1990's has a definite view on how the world will change with the upcoming wired revolution. Rossetto's vision and character are essential for the magazine's quick success, but later these same traits almost cost the magazine's investors dearly.
An interesting tale by a talented writer. I recommend this book.
OK, but a VERY quick read.