Twenty-five years is an impressive milestone for a publication centered on the fast-moving and often fleeting world of tech and digital culture. So to celebrate the last quarter century and start the next with a bang, luminaries from Manhattan to Silicon Valley gathered to toast Wired magazine’s anniversary Sunday night in San Francisco.
In the middle of the four-day Wired25 festival and summit, the magazine threw a VIP cocktail hour and dinner at Tartine Manufactory, a Mission District mash-up of a bar, restaurant, bakery and coffee spot.
Naturally, the all-star guest list skewed heavily tech, with several venture capitalists and technology luminaries mingling with personalities and friends of the magazine. Tennis superstar Serena Williams attended with husband and Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, joining Mythbusters’ Adam Savage, Apple design chief Jony Ive, Pinterest cofounder Evan Sharp, Kevin Systrom (cofounder and ex-ceo of Instagram), Udacity’s Sebastian Thrun, Anne and Janet Wojcicki of 23andMe and others.
The scene looked intimate and elegant, yet eclectic. Party guests sipped and circulated under the high industrial ceiling’s exposed pipes and hanging spherical lights, and dined amid stacks of organic flour sacks. The venue is practically a nod and wink to hipsterism made manifest.
Condé Nast’s Anna Wintour and Nick Thompson, Wired’s editor in chief, cohosted the party.
The gathering offered a respite from the whirlwind activity of the festival’s more than 70 sessions and activities — from virtual reality demos, relaxation stations and fireside chats at the Commonwealth Club to workplace tours of some of the city’s most innovative companies.
But for one night, the only tour that mattered was a stroll through the magazine’s memory lane and the celebration of its latest milestone.
Wired’s roots go back to the late Eighties and early Nineties — long before the advent of the iPhone, Facebook or even Google. During a time when tech innovations were much fewer and farther between, in the positively ancient pre-web world, the outlet saw the promise of new ways of thinking and new tools, and championed its innovators. Now, with a more evolved landscape, it explores tech’s deep impact on society, from personal relationships to politics to retail.
There’s no doubt that tech is moving at a rapid clip, advancing in ways that veer from good to bad and back again, sometimes in a single day’s news cycle. Today, it shapes everything from how to design and create, how to shop, and how to connect the human experience. Inarguably, it’s becoming more fully baked all the time.
How fitting that Wired would choose to celebrate in a bakery.