The Mangesh, The Myth, The Legend

Jason English

I've had my share of random freelance projects: Trying to dream up a better name for In The Houze, the Steve Martin-Queen Latifah movie eventually titled Bringing Down The House (this was not one of my suggestions); finding the email addresses for the Forbes 50 Most Powerful Women in Business (a friend's possibly unethical project; I just helped Google); shoveling an elderly shut-in woman's driveway, then shoveling it again when she wasn't happy where I'd piled the snow (I was forced into this by my high school guidance counselor and paid in fruitcake, ladies mittens and PDQ Chocolate mix.)

More recently, I've been conducting interviews with business legends for a company called futurethink. And so, in the tradition of the Frost/Nixon interviews, Larry King Live and Borat, I sat down with founding _flosser Mangesh Hattikudur to talk about the history and future of his magazine and publishing empire. Here's a taste.

What was your defining moment as a founder? The first time I realized mental_floss was real was when we took the freshly printed magazine to a Kinko's and they refused to let us make a poster of the cover. The branch we went to wasn't exactly known for their customer service, so when I asked the woman for help, she immediately scoffed and told me she wasn't moving unless I had written consent from the publisher. Somehow there was such joy in flipping to the masthead and pointing out our names. For the first time, it made me stop to think about what we'd accomplished. Until then, the whole process had been this giant punch line that we'd somehow pushed further and further. When I wondered: "Does she actually think this is a real magazine?" it left me grinning wide.

To read the full futurethink Innovator's Interview, click here, then choose Download Now for the PDF. Plus you can print out the Mangesh glamor shots for use as locker posters "“ perfect for back-to-school.