Spotlight: Alex Wain, Co-founder of So Bad So Good

Jenn de la Vega / November 7, 2016


My name is:  Alex Wain and I’m the co-founder of the pop culture site So Bad So Good.

My work specializes in: hunting down the most interesting pop culture trends of the day, so you don’t have to. Our posts cover design, photography, animation, sculpture, illustrations, street art, documentaries and literature right through to the weird, wonderful and infinitely shareable. Our focus is to act as a creative hub, where you can be inspired, amused and entertained daily.

I have a passion for: aesthetics—how items look, complement one another and how they ultimately make you feel. I know it sounds strange, but that’s probably why I’m mad about stationery. And then of course I buy it and feel it’s too nice to use it so I don’t. I know that literally makes no sense. I’ve also got two wonderful pugs, so you can imagine what happens when I find stationary with pugs on it…

I use Flipboard because: It’s a seamless and beautiful way to consume content. Before I just to trawl through Google Reader (remember?) with all those titles and ugly hyperlinks. But since Flipboard arrived, it has made reading a much more enjoyable and visually appealing experience.

The first few sites I read in the morning are: BBC, The Guardian, ABC and even Yahoo‘s News Digest app is pretty handy. It means when you get to work you can always strike up a conversation about whatever is happening that day. Then, of course, I head over to Reddit, which has its own perils because you can literally get lost down a rabbit hole on that site—it’s extremely addictive once you understand its ecosystem.

The purpose of my work is to: help the wider public discover all these incredibly talented individuals who are putting their art into the world (since I can’t draw, write music or paint to save my life). This way, creators and artists can focus on their craft and So Bad So Good can connect them to a wider audience. After all, there’s more to life than watching the Kardashians or seeing what your friends are eating on Instagram.

What makes my work different is: I think many curators have a specific niche which they blog about, be it travel, sneakers or food reviews, for example. At So Bad So Good our motto is: “The Best & Worst Of The Web” so you never know what you’re going to see on the site day to day—which keeps it fresh and interesting. I’d like to think our community enjoys the randomness and tongue-in-cheek nature of the site.

The best article I read all week was: A friend emailed this to me two days ago and I thought it was hilarious. I believe that humour can solve many of the world’s problems. We’re all far too serious these days.

My favorite topic on Flipboard is: UX, not just because it helps us improve the way our community interacts with the site, but again it goes back to my love of design and aesthetics. It’s amazing to see how small visual changes can have a profound effect on someone’s online behavior and habits. So I read that daily without fail.

Someone I admire from a different discipline is: Nikola Tesla because not only was he a visionary in the field of electrical engineering and a futurist, but also by all accounts he was a bit of a showman as well. There’s something to be said about the ability to combine science with a little bit of magic—very few people could light up people’s imagination the way he did. He made people dream and think bigger. We need more people like that in the world. His modern day equivalent would be Elon Musk. He’s going to get us to Mars one day, I have no doubt about that.

My “media diet” includes:  Twitter, Facebook for my friends, Flipboard for the commute to work, Instagram and Snapchat for the weekend; Netflix for the couch; and Deezer / iTunes for music and podcasts.

A unique productivity tip of mine is: At the end of each day, no matter how tired you are, make a quick bullet point list of what you need to do the following day. It seems simple but it had a big impact on the way I work. It means you can go to sleep feeling less anxious or frantic, and it means you can start the following day on the front foot, rather than “Right…now where was I again?” It genuinely helps streamline your thought process and provides you with clarity.

If I could offer one piece of advice to my younger self, it would be: Focus on what makes you happy, minimize the elements in your life that compromise that in any way. When you feel positive and secure about yourself and your place in the world, it lifts everyone else around you, too.

I used to be a bit negative when I was younger (I’m British so it goes with the territory!) but now I realize it’s a dead end. If you focus on the positives, I promise you that life will instantly feel more inclusive and exciting. Stay humble, be positive.  

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~jdlv is listening to Today’s Track