How can a CEO tell the future? How can we look around corners and understand what’s coming next in this competitive and confusing environment?

For me, the answer was easy: Become a publisher.

After all, the job of journalism is to help us understand the world beyond our own individual experience — to find out what’s really happening and why, what’s working and what’s broken, who’s right and who’s not. At its best, journalists’ work inspires conversations and can even provoke change. I’m not the first person to come to this conclusion, but I can’t think of a greater asset for a forward-thinking company to have than a team of editors and journalists at its disposal.

What’s also gratifying about creating Traffic is it works for us as a piece of marketing, too. They say effective marketing is a dialogue, and Traffic has proven an ideal conversation starter. For all the references to Piano that this magazine puts out into the world (including the brochure in the middle of this book), it’s what the magazine tells us in return that’s most valuable. The secrets shared from industries we care about, the discourse around trends and business results, and the relationships with individuals on the front lines of digital business. These insights shape the services we deliver and the products we build.

Meanwhile, for the first time, many of the subjects we highlight in this magazine aren’t in the media industry. That’s partially because, for the first time in our history, not all of Piano’s clients are in media. (Take that, “Total Addressable Market!”)

What has struck us is how similar the needs of these diverse businesses are to one another. Whether they’re delivering higher education or lunch, all companies today are exploring common ground: searching for the best ways to monetize and trying to build the most effective and satisfying customer experiences possible. To do that, they need new ways to conduct one-to-one interactions at scale. We aspire to be the company that helps them.

And with that, dear reader, it is with pleasure that I wish you a great experience with this, the third issue of Traffic. Please don’t hesitate to send feedback. We can’t wait to discuss the future with you.