017: Jonathan Allen (Editor-in-Chief, Entrepreneur Quarterly)

Jonathan Allen on Innovation City

“Rather than compete to get recognition… with social media, you can collaborate. And that’s how we propose traditional businesses can survive extinction.” — Jonathan Allen

Welcome to Innovation City—powered by Venture Cafe—where Tyler Kelley and Michael Johnson, Co-Founders of SLAM! Agency, interview innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency in conjunction with Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community.

Jonathan Allen is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of EQ. He is also the President and Co-founder of Longneck & Thunderfoot (L&T), a brand publishing company that incubated at the Columbia University Startup Lab in New York City. He moved to St. Louis in 2016 to open up a Midwest office after L&T won an Arch Grant. Find Jonathan and his companies on Twitter at @jc1000000, @Thundrfoot, and @EQSTL.

They discuss:

  • Business leadership author Tim Sanders, and his book, Love is the Killer App
  • How to build a network and build connections
  • Jonathan’s early start up adventures in London, an analytics company
  • Moblog, a smartphone photo platform (like Instagram) that came out a month after MySpace, and an early player in the citizen journalism movement
  • Working at a publishing company doing digital strategy
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • His first viral Facebook video 50 SEOs, One Question which asked, “What should we do with the black hats?” catching the attention of Search Engine Watch, whose company he joined in 2010
  • Differentiating Search Engine Watch by focusing on people, thought processes, and values
  • Winning a national award for redesigning the Search Engine Watch website allowed Jonathan to apply for a U.S. visa
  • The history behind the name Longneck and Thunderfoot
  • How publishing and the PR industry has changed
  • How traditional companies can avoid extinction
  • The importance of collaboration and the power of building context
  • EQ’s approach to publishing; news as a social network
  • How building a community helps to build brand awareness
  • The importance of taking risks and thinking big
  • The difference between starting companies in London vs. the U.S.
  • The internet’s demand for photos of adorable cats, delicious breakfasts, and cute kids
  • The importance of networking events when moving to a new city
  • St. Louis’ authority, openness, and the creative energy to move forward on projects
  • The limitations of humility when starting a new business
  • An outsider’s perspective on St. Louis
  • How to pitch your company to investors
  • The fact that grant programs and accelerators have their own civic-minded or industry-minded ambitions
  • EQ’s data and analytics side
  • EQ’s grand ambitions to tell the story of historical heroes of St. Louis