Matt Taibbi, Gary Shapiro to Lead Opening Session of 2013 AAN Convention

june 13, 2013  01:20 pm
No one understands the "adapt or perish" mindset better than the scrappy alt news industry. And long before it became a buzzphrase, disrupting the media business was the raison d'être for alt-weeklies.

So when Gary Shapiro explains his theory of using "ninja innovation" to achieve success, he's really telling a familiar tale.

Shapiro will kick off the first full day of sessions at the AAN Annual Convention in Miami. He is the president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), which produces the continent's largest annual tradeshow, the International CES in Las Vegas.

In his book, Ninja Innovation: The Ten Killer Strategies of the World's Most Successful Businesses, Shapiro explains how lessons from tae kwon do (in which he has a black belt) can help businesses prepare for — and adapt to — innovative change.

Lest there be any doubt that alt-weeklies are up to the challenge, Rolling Stone contributing editor Matt Taibbi will follow Shapiro's talk with a reminder that adapting and disrupting is what alts do best.

As many will recall, Taibbi caused a national stir in 2005 with his ahead-of-its-time listicle, "The 52 Funniest Things About The Upcoming Death of The Pope," in the New York Press. At the time, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer praised it as "the most disgusting thing I've seen in 30 years of public life."

Taibbi later took on Wall Street with his 2010 book, Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America, which exposed the institutions behind the 2008 financial crisis.

Shapiro and Taibbi's opening session on Friday will prepare attendees for a full day of breakout sessions for editorial, business, digital and design staffers. See the full convention schedule here.

The early registration deadline is tomorrow, June 14.

2013 AAN Convention Website