von Markus Albers

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Andrew Tuck: “It’s never too late to do the thing you care about”


This is part two of my interview with Andrew Tuck (r.), editor of MONOCLE magazine, to which I’m a regular contributor. In part one we’ve spoken about global mobility – here we focus on reinventing oneself after the crash and designing the ideal lifestyle. The interview was conducted as research for my upcoming book, “Meconomy” (out on January, 18th).

Andrew – you and the rest of the MONOCLE-team seem to travel the world almost constantly. Does this make you quintessentially modern individuals? Is functioning in different cultural contexts essential to being happy and succesful in a rapidly changing economy?

I am not sure that’s how I’d describe myself. Oddly I wonder if the art of surviving in this rapidly changing economy is the opposite of what most people imagine. Yes embrace new technology, the internet’s latest invention – but cautiously. Look at my industry, the media, lots of the biggest players threw fortunes at the web and now they are bust. They have dropped news stories for Twitter feeds and then wonder where their credibility went. There will always be a place for people who raise standards, are genuine, love their craft. That’s why Savile Row tailors have been busy in the past year whereas many designer stores have struggled. People recognise skill. Be good at what you do.

Going back to travel for a moment: Are you personally still looking for your dreamplace? Or is it rather that being on the road is the way to live – is the journey the reward?

I still get excited when a plane touches down in a place I know and love or have never been before. And I love where I live in the centre of London. But one day a patch of land and a simple house by a lake would be good.

Would you agree that MONOCLE has kind of created the ideal lifestyle for it’s team? What is your advice for someone who would like to do the same? Do you think it is easier today to re-invent oneself  – in terms of job, as an entrepeneur or as a person – than in the past?

Apart from the 18-hour days during press week, it’s pretty perfect. Certainly nobody ever seems to leave MONOCLE – after almost three years the start-up team are still there. And, yes, I do think it’s easier to reinvent yourself. I love the people who I know who have gone from photographers’ agent to chef or from banker to farmer and been good at both. It’s never too late to do the thing you care about.

In your podcast, MONOCLE WEEKLY (studio pictured above), you referred to 2009 as the “Rethink Year”. What did people and businesses learn from this post-crisis introspection?

They have learnt to rely on their own skills, they have seen what makes them happy, they have rediscovered their passion for growing things, they have bought clothes that are about design not just fashion, they have wanted to take pride in their work. There have been terrible losses for many people, but also some healthy corrections.

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