Sarah O’Carroll of Forbes Australia: Web 3.0 and NFTs are here to stay

With a 105-year history and global presence, the iconic and much-loved Forbes opened an Australian subsidiary. Led by its founder and CEO Michael Lane, the prestigious title has brought Yahoo! Financeis Sarah O’Carroll on board as editor.

sit with Marketing magazine, O’Carroll talks about the plans for the magazine, as well as how the art direction is at the forefront of everything Forbes Australia will do, as well as the NFT universe.

MM: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us today, I’m so excited that something as iconic as Forbes arrives on the floor of the house! Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you ended up in the role?

SO: I worked for Yahoo! Finance for three and a half years. During my tenure, we reached approximately two million readers. He was really about empowering people to take control of their finances.

Is this your first foray into print?

This is actually me going back to print. At the beginning of my career, I was editor-in-chief of HR review. I’m so glad my path brought me back there. That said, printing is only part of our offering.

How much do you think will be syndicated across print and digital?

I would like to see the print as a window to the whole world of Forbes Australia. There will be digital newsletters and podcasts, then when the team is built up enough we will focus on events. The magazine is part of the media universe, but we want to bring the stories to life. We can bring these stories to life through digital or in-person events. Allow our readers to dive in, meet these people – even if they are billionaires, venture capitalists or philanthropists. We want to meet and connect with people.

Some of the stories we will share on digital platforms, but not all. We want to keep some for printing. Some may be drip-fed, but we won’t have every story on every platform.

When it comes to Australia versus the US market, what’s the difference there? Australia seems to have real ownership in the tech space, for example Mr. Yum, Strava and Atlassian, are you going to focus on those kinds of companies?

Absolutely, we really have the darlings of Canva and Atlassian and they are just the epitome of local success. They did a phenomenal job. But there’s a lot more going on, and now these tech companies are going through a really tough time. Inflation really affects them.

But looking at our cover story, we have the brothers behind Immutable. They have been so phenomenally innovative in this area and they are paving the way for Web 3.0. We see so many people putting this and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the overly difficult basket, but this is actually where we can potentially create a whole new world of digital economies. Immutable built this infrastructure.

Web 3.0 and NFTs are making a lot of noise. We meet our audience at Marketing is very involved in this.

I think the Australians were probably a bit late, a bit more hesitant to take it – but there’s a lot of money to be made there. People want to be, what they call, “early adopters”. Some people are slow. But in my opinion, Web 3.0 and NFTs aren’t going anywhere.

The first issue of Immutable was such a beautiful picture, is this creative direction important to Forbes?

That’s all. We recruited Huw Reynolds from Harper’s Bazaar, and his vision is so important. On our team we have Stewart Hawkins who is ex-Bloomberg and FRG. Elise Shaw is our digital editor for The Australian, but I really wanted someone to get that non-traditional business inject, and so Reynolds made sense. His creative vision is incredible.

We watched the Immutable crew and Reynolds didn’t want to film them professionally, not at Martin Place or behind a desk. It completely changed the vision.

It’s so admirable to take something so highly regarded and bring it to the Australian market, it’s a huge task and we’re excited to see where it’s going.

It’s quite a task, but it’s exciting. The feedback we’ve had so far is phenomenal. People are so excited and you can really see and feel their appetite. We take the best of Forbes and inject some cheer and some local points. We introduced features such as Breakfast with a Billionaire or Beer with a Billionaire. We also focus on philanthropists. Who surpasses Australia? That’s what we’re looking at.

Forbes Australia hits shelves in September 2022.