On the wall of my office, right above my desk where I have to look at it every day, hangs a large black-and-white photograph of a ship. It lends a nautical ambience to what would otherwise be a cold and sterile space. But this isn’t a photo of just any ship. It’s of the RMS Titanic, as she’s leaving Southampton, England, on her maiden voyage, almost exactly 100 years ago.
The picture has been with me for a long time and adorned many offices because it has been a constant reminder of two rules that have been important to me, not only in magazine publishing but in life: Expect the unexpected, and you’re never as smart as you think you are.