Meg Major: Congrats! Winsight has finally
achieved a longstanding goal to round out
its B2B food and beverage portfolio with
the launch of Grocery Business. What is
most significant to you about this move?
Mike Wood: Winsight likes to grow by finding news and ideas that help our audiences
make better business decisions. Our experience in the restaurant and convenience
store markets tells us the lines are blurring
between them, and we know that is true with
grocery business, too. Today, people buy food
at c-stores and take-home dinners at grocery
stores. Just recently, Amazon bought Whole
Foods, and Tesla has talked about serving
food at the electric car charging stations it’s
setting up. Figuring out what all this means is
what we want to do.
In much the same way as the food industry
itself, the publishing and media industries
are also confronting radical transformation. Yet Winsight is boldly investing in
a new division at a time when others are
heading for the hills. Please elaborate on
the thinking behind this move.
We think of Winsight as a media company,
and by media we mean information. It’s true
that most trade magazines are flat or down
lately, but businesspeople still need news
and information, which they get today via
e-newsletters, business conferences and
proprietary data, all of which are growing
rapidly. Winsight is in these businesses,
and we see exciting opportunities to expand
Grocery Business’ franchise to provide information wherever and whenever our audience wants it. But more than just providing
information, we want to customize the information flow at a user level and turn those
insights into foresight.
You were recently recognized as a publish-
ing industry “Pioneer” in the 2017 Folio:
100, which comprises the best and bright-est minds in the magazine and digital media industries today. Realizing you would
prefer to avoid discussing this honor, I’m
compelled to ask: What would you say to
the imaginary audience in your imaginary
First, I would say I don’t think I deserve the
recognition. They probably gave it to me
because we’ve grown fast by managing the
transition from print to digital and diversify-
ing the business into analytics and insights.
Like many industries covered by the Folio:
100, the food industry is grappling with tremendous change, making decision makers
hungry to know what’s happening and what
to do about it. Our job is to dig out the answers
and then figure out the best way to deliver
them, and we’ve been pretty good at that.
Let’s switch gears. What’s the best piece
of business advice you’ve ever been given?
Trust, but verify.
What words or phrases do you most
What is your least favorite business
What are your top priorities for 2018?
Make an acquisition and launch something
How many unread emails do you have in
Ten unread, and though I try and keep less than
50 emails in my inbox at any given time, I currently
What’s your favorite mobile app at the moment?
Life360, so I can track the whereabouts of my 14-
and 12-year-old kids (mostly the 12-year-old, who
takes “free-range kid” to a whole new level).
Who are your fictional heroes and why?
Edmond Dantes (the definition of grit and for
showcasing the benefits of playing the long
game), Jack Reacher, Gabriel Allon, Mitch Rapp
and Court Gentry, because they’re all flawed
badasses with a moral code.
Mike Wood is CEO of Winsight
Media LLC, the leading B2B media,
event and information company
serving the convenience, grocery,
restaurant and on-the-go food
industries—and now, the proud
new parent of Grocery Business.
A 1:1 conversation with an industry impresario