Pete Cashmore and Mashable – Changing the World

Pete Cashmore

As amazing as modern medicine is – there are times when routine procedures turn out to be anything but. Appendicitis is typically treated on an emergency basis, yet the operation boasts a extraordinarily high success rate. In the rare instances that issues do occur, they can be significant and carry on for a long period of time. Such was the case with a thirteen year old boy living in the small town of Banchory, Scotland. He missed quite a bit of school – years in fact – as he recovered from the complications of his surgery.

He was quiet and naturally curious so he took to his computer to pass the time. His interests took him in many directions, but one emerging segment of the internet really captured his imagination – blogs.  He signed up for countless blogs and read them all. Soon his creative drive took over and he began to write, submitting articles to a variety of sites using a pseudonym. For the next several years his passion grew, his interests were honed and his talents were sharpened.

In 2005, at the age of 19, he launched his own blogging site while still living with his parents. They were aware that he had been striving to make money via the internet, but they didn’t have the full grasp of what their son’s work. That changed when the site gained enough attention that a reporter from the UK’s Daily Mail came to the house to interview the person who’d launched the site.

His initial focus was on web tools, the tech sector and social media sites. Realizing that his primary audience was in the U.S., he adjusted his daily schedule in order to be in synch with the States. He published stories which explained and documented emerging platforms including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

More important than the facts and insights that he delivered was his philosophy. His focus was on the reader – What did the readers want to know? Was he highlighting practical benefits and workings of these sites to his subscribers? Was the information he delivered relevant?

To gauge his success, he  became obsessed with looking at the numbers for his site on a daily basis. His goal was to have a higher number each day vs the previous day’s number. He wasn’t concerned as much with the size of the increase – so long as there was one. The site achieved that objective more often than not. Within 18 months, working as the sole contributor, his site was getting two million readers per month.

Today, the Scot’s site – Mashable – boasts forty-two million monthly readers and twenty-four million social media followers. With an average of seven and a half million shares a month, Mashable articles and videos reach countless people who never go directly to the site. As Mashable puts it on their site “Mashable is a leading global media company that informs, inspires and entertains the digital generation. Mashable is redefining storytelling by documenting and shaping the digital revolution in a new voice, new formats and cutting-edge technologies.”

While these results are truly mind boggling – they only exist because of the passion. vision and drive of that young boy from Scotland – Pete Cashmore.

Fearless Brands build successful companies by combining their passion and talents, delivering relevant value

The quote “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it” is attributed to Charles Swindoll, but Pete Cashmore is a nearly perfect, real-life testament to the statement’s veracity. It would have been very simple for Cashmore to react differently to the complications of his appendectomy. Given the same situation, many a young lad would have turned to video games – not Pete Cashmore.

Mashable is a direct reflection of Pete Cashmore the person – the brand. He tapped into his passion and creativity and allowed himself to wonder how – not if – he could change the world. Because of Cashmore’s vision, Mashable has evolved from a tech blog to a global media company, but his vision is greater still. 

Mashable – and Pete Cashmore – created the Social Good Summit. This annual event is dedicated to determining the impact that technology and new media can have on worldwide social good initiatives. The Social Good Summit is a platform for  the transparent discussion of how the world can become a better place. This year’s event will be held September 27-28 in New York City. The theme – #2030NOW – asks the question, “What type of world do I want to live in by the year 2030?”

That sickly 13 year old Scot has already had a tremendous impact on the world – and he’s not yet 30 years of age.

What better way to explain some of the keys to Pete Cashmore’s success than to share a few of his own philosophies. (as shared on

“Execution really shapes whether your company takes off or not.”
“I’m very much a creative person, but you’ve got to do the follow-through. A lot of people start out with an exciting thing and they want to take over the world, but really the people who do take over the world have a good plan of how to get there and the steps along the way.”
“The talent that has to be learned is finding out what someone’s passion is and setting them up to realize that. You don’t get the best work from people if you’re guiding them versus them guiding themselves.”

As you build your own brand, a key point to be made is that Cashmore’s achievements are the result of his being a fearless brand. The formula for a fearless brand is simple – simple enough to be attainable by all of us.

What makes a fearless brand? – A fearless brand is built on a platform of authenticity and created by combining passion (vision) with talent (skills) to deliver relevant value.

The formula for a fearless brand is simple – the execution, however,  is not easy. That being said, when you question your vision, talents or relevance…when things seem to be at their toughest – think of Pete Cashmore as a 13 year old and know that you too can achieve dream results. 

Friday's Fearless Brand

Coach, International Speaker and Thought Partner - Bill’s mission is to add value to the world – one brand at a time. Bill guides individuals and companies alike in building what he refers to as a ‘fearless brand’. This is the process of discovering, embracing and delivering their greatest value – which allows them to realize greater profit. Read More

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