At DLD earlier this week, Tom Glocer, CEO of Thomson Reuters (NYSE: TRI), gave the rest of the world a peek into what we know he really is: a geek. He talked about his early days playing with IM, and how that helped develop Reuters own financial IM product; and other efforts such as Reuters embedded reporter in Second Life, and Glocer’s very early embrace of Facebook.
On whether Reuters is a tech company: “One of the big mistakes of almost all major newspaper and media companies: the inability to abstract away from the distribution mechanism of the day, and truly figure out what it is they do. If you only define yourself as the technology of the era, then you won’t outlive that technology.”
On BreakingViews acquisition: “Even though it was small acquisition for a $12 billion company, whenever you acquire into a journalism company, it is somewhat destabilizing. One reason we did it was to make the point that not-invented-here is not just an issue for the technologists and product people, but no-invented here is for everyone in the company. Even the mighty Reuters has to embrace that there are some great journalists outside, and it can’t be the only part of the company that hasn’t made an acquisition. We also recognized that we need to move up the stack from raw facts to raw facts plus context, to raw facts plus content and analysis, and then to the fourth plane, which is commentary. And we had started our own commentary service, and this acq helped accelerate that and take it to video much quicker than either would have on their own.” In other words, it is a strong message to send internally to its own 2,700 journalists, among other things.