Axios President & Co-Founder
Roy Schwartz is a cofounder and president of Axios – a breakout startup news and information platform that helps people quickly and easily understand the most consequential topics in the world. Roy is the former chief revenue officer for POLITICO, the digital media company that upended and forever changed political and policy journalism in Washington, New York, and Europe. Prior to POLITICO, Roy was a Partner at Gallup’s management consulting practice in Washington, D.C. and California advising Fortune 500 companies on employee and customer engagement. Roy was featured in the 2015 FOLIO 100 as a “Corporate Catalyst” and by the Washington Business Journal in its 2015 “40 under 40.” An expert in digital media, business, and strategy, he is a frequent speaker at media conferences including SXSW, Min Folio, Digital East, Interactive Media Conference, etc. A proud Terrapin, Roy holds an MBA and bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland.
Axios is available online through axios.com, via one of our nearly 20 newsletters, through engaging Axios360 newsmaker events and much more – all meant to get you smarter faster on the news that matters.
How and why did you start Axios?
A few years ago, Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen, and I all left our cool, safe jobs to start a new company with this shared belief: Media is broken – stories are too long, too boring, and websites are a maddening mess of pop-up and banner ads.
Following a year-long listening tour, we founded Axios in 2017 with the mission of delivering the cleanest, smartest, most efficient and trustworthy experience for readers and advertisers alike. Our solution to the problems plaguing the media industry is Smart Brevity: the idea that news and information should be quick, smart and worthy of your time. Since launch, we have advanced our Smart Brevity format to adapt to newsletters, events, a podcast, social media, news stream, and an HBO show, with more in the works.
Any emerging industry trends?
The need for companies to clearly share concise corporate social responsibility messaging has never been so important – consumers, employees and stockholders continue to prove again and again that they care about the initiatives and principles that a brand upholds. But the days of long-form native advertising are slipping away – media ad sales teams and advertisers need to help Brands find smart, efficient ways of sharing what they are doing that is good and amplifying that message.
What is your long-term vision for Axios?
We have been extremely fortunate over the last two years. We have grown from 3 to nearly 20 newsletters, hosted dozens of events across the country, aired an HBO series and broke hundreds of crucial news scoops, all in Smart Brevity.
In the future we want to continue to expand the ways in which we can stretch our efficient format – both through editorial and advertising means. We are constantly trying new experiments and working to
bring Axios into different spaces – from different coverage areas (education, smart cities, blockchain, space) to new platforms and beyond. My long-term vision for the company is to continue growing, building and innovating with Smart Brevity and our audience-first mentality.
Before I start each day, I always take a moment to prioritize several goals that I can set out to accomplish – from helping Axios land a new client to getting our new New York City office up and running. Throughout the day I revisit these goals as a check on myself and my team. Only by keeping clear goals are you able to make real progress.
I care tremendously about the people I work with – their development, ideas, and wellbeing – so I try to connect with at least one person each day, to take the time to really listen and ask them how they are doing, and if they are happy.
Every work day is about winning, getting ahead and continuing to adapt because if you sit still, someone is going to eat your lunch. Be ferocious about optimizing each day and each meeting so you can accomplish your goals and keep moving forward.
Favorite Breakfast meal & restaurant:
My kitchen- coffee & and a mini bagel. Or if I have the chance, The Greenhouse at the Jefferson in DC is a really cool restaurant.
What are you doing at..
6:00 a.m. = Working out
10:00 a.m. = In a meeting
12:00 p.m. & Favorite Lunch Spot:
Lunch as a meeting in the office (salad)
7:00 p.m. = Playing with my kids!
11:00 p.m. = Have been asleep for two hours.
What drink do you need to get through the day?
One coffee first thing in the morning keeps me going throughout the day.
Favorite App: Stand-up Comedy on Youtube
Instagram Account: @Axios, of course!
What should everyone try at least once:
A Startup – you’re either going to love it or hate it, but it’s going to change your life. It’s not for everyone, but if it’s for you, you can never go back.
Where do you enjoy getting lost:
On a racetrack – I love going go-karting with my kids!