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BuzzFeed editor makes career of perfecting ‘hacks’ for life

June 28, 2017 1:30 PM
 | 
Madina Papadopoulos newwave@tulane.edu
  

At BuzzFeed, Peggy Wang plays a pivotal role in the company's success. (Photo by David Neff)

 

To call someone an “entrepreneurial artist” can seem like an oxymoronic description. An artist is generally equated with adjectives like “starving” or “suffering,” while an entrepreneur calls to mind a clever person with savoir faire and perhaps a touch of cunning. Characteristics that describe both an entrepreneur and an artist? Problem-solving is one. Courage is another. BuzzFeed’s founding editor and “hack” expert, Peggy Wang, embodies both those qualities.

Wang, who earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Tulane in December 2001, has had the diverse careers of computer programmer, indie rock band member who toured globally, and founding editor of BuzzFeed—an American digital media company headquartered in New York City.

Wang is the life and lifestyle editor of the social news and entertainment company known for its fluffy “listicles.” BuzzFeed has a serious side, too, with a breaking news operation. Named one of Fast Company’s 50 most innovative companies for 2016, BuzzFeed generates 9 billion content views a month across social and other digital platforms. Half the views come from videos.

Back in 2006, going to work at a fledgling website was a huge gamble. But Wang’s is a tale of not only choosing the road less traveled, but also about having the instinct to follow the right path.

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This article originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of Tulane magazine.