5 Minutes with Tom Goodwin

5 Minutes with Tom Goodwin

Tom Goodwin is the Executive Vice President and Head of Innovation at Zenith Media USA. He has been voted a top 10 voice in Marketing by LinkedIn, one of 30 people to follow on Twitter by Business Insider, and a “must follow” by Fast Company.

An industry provocateur and commentator on the future of marketing and business, he is a columnist for TechCrunch and Forbes and frequent contributor to The Guardian, GQ, Ad Age, Wired, Ad Week, Inc, MediaPost & Digiday.


What was the last book you read?

Be More Pirate by Sam Conniff Allende

You’re stranded on a desert island. What three books would you want with you?

I wish I could have the internet really. Maybe one on how to make a 4G cellular tower, another on how to make a smartphone. Not sure that will work. I’d be terrible on a desert island. Maybe one on how to deal with being on a desert island and not freak out.  I’m panicking just thinking about this.

Tell us what you do in 20 words.

I help people and companies understand what is and isn’t changing and help them do something about it.

What do you like about your job?

Everything, but being able to see the world and connect the dots is especially amazing.

What is the single biggest challenge facing the publishing industry right now?

It’s based in a mindset of the past, trying to (and relatively quite successfully) adapting to the modern world, but it would be better to think afresh and construct new models and processes for the future now.

What is the one piece of advice you’d give to someone starting out in publishing today?

Same as anyone, be sure to keep curious, keep learning, keep meeting interesting people and keep wide.

Which imprints do you most admire and why?

I think we all need to be aware that sadly people don’t tend to have a relationship with content providers any more. I don’t love record labels, TV channels, or mastheads, I love songs, specific shows and specific writers or content types. I don’t wake up thinking I need a book from this publisher, I wake up wanting to read a book. With that in mind I do love design and what Taschen produces. And Kogan Page even more obviously.

Which great novel have you tried to read but failed?

Lord of the Rings. I get intimidated by books that thick, I think of all the other things I could do in that time. Sorry.

Who has been your greatest inspiration and why?

Rory Sutherland, because he champions unlikely creativity.

What is the one essential item you bring to the Fair?

A smile.

Tom Goodwin will be giving a keynote speech ‘New Rules of Business and New Waves of Storytelling in the Post Digital World’ at Quantum: Inspiration Informed by Data on Monday 9th April 2018

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