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Founder's Report

Wired Magazine CO-Founders: Louis Rossetto and Jane Metcalfe

by Editorial Staff 20 Apr 2023

Wired magazine has been a trailblazer in the world of technology, culture, and business since its launch in 1993. Its innovative approach to covering emerging trends and disruptive technologies has made it a go-to resource for anyone interested in the intersection of technology and culture. But who are the people behind this iconic publication? Let's take a closer look at the founders of Wired magazine: Louis Rossetto and Jane Metcalfe.

Early Life and Career

Louis Rossetto was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1949. He grew up in a family of Italian immigrants and attended Stuyvesant High School, a prestigious public school in Manhattan known for its focus on science and technology. He went on to attend the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a degree in philosophy.

Jane Metcalfe was born in Seattle, Washington, in 1957. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied fine arts and political science. After graduation, she worked as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator.

Rossetto and Metcalfe met in 1985 while working at the advertising agency Chiat/Day. Rossetto was the copywriter, and Metcalfe was the art director. They quickly hit it off and began dating.

The Birth of Wired

In 1991, Rossetto and Metcalfe decided to start their own publishing company. Their goal was to create a magazine that would explore the ways in which technology was changing the world. They envisioned a publication that would be part of the emerging digital revolution, rather than simply reporting on it.

After securing funding from a group of investors, Rossetto and Metcalfe launched Wired magazine in 1993. The first issue featured a cover story about the digital future of cinema and a feature on virtual reality.

Wired quickly gained a reputation for its cutting-edge content, stunning design, and irreverent tone. It covered topics that other publications ignored, such as hacking, cyberculture, and the emerging internet. It also featured bold and provocative design, including bold typography and vibrant colors.

The Success of Wired

Wired magazine was an immediate success, attracting a loyal following of tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and creatives. It quickly became known as the "magazine of record" for the digital age. Its influence extended far beyond its pages, inspiring a generation of tech entrepreneurs and startups.

In addition to the magazine, Rossetto and Metcalfe launched a number of other ventures under the Wired umbrella, including the Wired Digital website, Wired Ventures, and the Wired 40, a list of the top 40 most innovative companies in the world.

The End of an Era

In 1998, Rossetto and Metcalfe sold Wired to Conde Nast, the publisher of Vogue, The New Yorker, and other high-profile magazines. Although they remained involved with Wired for a time, they eventually moved on to other ventures.

Rossetto went on to found the web development company TCHO Ventures and the online video platform Knowingly. Metcalfe founded, a publication and event series focused on the intersection of biology and technology.

In 2017, Rossetto and Metcalfe published a book about their experiences launching and running Wired magazine. The book, titled "Change Is Good: A Story of the Heroic Era of the Internet," offers a behind-the-scenes look at the birth of Wired and the early days of the internet.

The Legacy of Wired

Today, Wired magazine continues to be a leading voice in the world of technology and culture. It has evolved

Hey there! I'm Chuck, the Editor-in-Chief at Local Threads. We’re on a mission to showcase founders of start-ups and help them shine and tell the world about themselves, their products, and their vision in life. We see value in the stories of big brands and their founders as well. Their success can be a source of inspiration for start-ups.
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