I write, talk and consult for a living. I am paid to say what I think, and not what I am not paid to say. However the tangled web of friends, sponsors, clients, fans, and agents behind my actions may impact what I say. I will attempt to illuminate these relations as succinctly as I can.
I am an independent author. I write magazine articles as a freelancer, even for Wired. I am listed on the masthead of Wired as Senior Maverick; that title entails no operational duties or privileges. I supply Wired with ideas, suggestions, and occasional articles, but I claim no credit or blame for what is being published in the final magazine, outside of my own words. I contribute to other national magazines on a for-hire basis. No magazine has ever requested that I cover a subject in a particular way; nor would I agree to such a request.
My literary agent is John Brockman, who is also a publisher himself of the Edge forum. He is both promoting my work to commercial publishers and publishing my work on his own site. My wife works for Genentech, the biotech company. I don’t write about biotech much, and have not and probably would not write about Genentech.
I am sometimes paid to speak, and sometimes in the larger industry that I write about. I choose the subject and the substance of my talks. I have not been asked to channel or restrain my opinions, nor would I agree to such. I am represented by Stern Speakers who book my speaking engagements.
Some of my blogs carry advertising. The ads are selected by algorithms either by Google Adsense, The Deck, or Federated Media. I have no direct relationship or agreement with any advertiser. Some of my blogs, Cool Tools for example, are enrolled in Amazon.com’s affiliate program. I get a small commission when readers purchase something from an Amazon link on my site. More about how that works is disclosed on the FAQ for Cool Tools, which also goes into detail about my policy regarding reviewing products.
I cover the high tech industry and will often write about or mention individual companies. I maintain an independent view in my coverage of particular companies because my financial investments are held jointly with my wife and with two exceptions we do not own individual stocks of our choosing; all our holdings are either in mutual funds or a fund run by professionals. The exceptions are seed investments in four privately held companies: Tcho, a chocolate factory, and Prosetta, InCarda and Dance, three biotech startups.
I serve as an unpaid board member (Secretary) for the non-profit Long Now Foundation. While I have served on other profit and non-profit boards in the past, this is my only active position currently. I previously was a network member of GBN, a consultancy, but GBN is now defunct; currently I do no consulting.