The majority of PandoMonthly guests are one of two things: entrepreneurs or investors. So it may come as a surprise to see Forbes’ Chief Product Officer Lewis DVorkin on the slate for next week. What’s an executive of an old hoary financial magazine doing in the old PM hot seat?
But DVorkin is more entrepreneurial than you might think. At Forbes (and previously at his old startup True/Slant) DVorkin treats his journalists like entrepreneurs, expecting them to write, self-edit, and self-promote. Staffers and contributors can receive incentives for racking up pageviews and new Twitter followers. And if they screw up, either by committing a factual error (or by not driving enough traffic), they have no one to blame but themselves.
This may sound potentially skeezy to some, but you can’t argue with results. Since 2010 when DVorkin took over, the Forbes.com’s audience has grown from 13 million to 45 million unique visitors per month, according to the Guardian.
Expect next week’s emcee Adam Penenberg, an ex-Forbesian and a reporter who’s spent his career navigating the ethics of journalism, to grill DVorkin on the implications of this model. It should make for some great fireworks, and (speaking of journalistic ethics) you should definitely buy a ticket because it’s only $20 and there’s free pizza and beer.
But before that, check out our quick video primer on DVorkin and how his model of “entrepreneurial journalism” works: