Conde Nast Portfolio: The Business of Business

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In the longest gestation for any magazine – PORTFOLIO was announced sometime last summer is just about ready to hit the mailboxes and kiosks. According to the NY Times, it’s a $120 million dollar launch with 185 ad pages (out of 332 pages). Both pretty impressive in any economy but doubly impressive in this economy especially with a lot of ad dollars moving into online marketing.

The website is already up & running – it looks and reads like a cross between the NEW YORKER (theirs) and New YORK mag (NOT THEIRS) but hard to tell how it look & feels without the photos & ad spreads.

The bigger question is do we need another business mag? Something that is cross between BUSINESS 2.0 (NOT THEIRS) & WIRED (THEIRS)?

What niche is left? It would be nice to get more indepth analysis than what FORTUNE & BUSINESSWEEK bring to the game but less wonky than the HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW or perhaps THE ECONOMIST with more photos?
A business Vanity Fair (THEIRS)? Or a cross of Vanity Fair and the Robb Report (Not Theirs)?

Speaking of photos, one thing that is definitely missing is when FORTUNE was art …

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We could use more of that. After all, the best parts of Koyaanisqatsi were the showcases of man’s power to build, stack and reach for the sky … what is not the Strip at Vegas but our new Colossus at the harbor of Rhodes?

So, what’s their competition?

BUSINESSWEEK

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A quick snapshot of the world of business. Concise, on-targeted writing that’s casual – not much analysis but a quick read. The best magazine bloggers.

BUSINESS 2.0

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As a Time Warner title, the writing is vastly improved and fun to read. Lots of interesting graphics and really the only Internet Boom 1.0 title remaining standing. While the news, gossip and happenings of the Internet 2.0 are chronicled almost minute by minute with ARS TECHNICA, TECHCRUNCH & others but Business 2.0 is a nice recap of what’s what – only minor glitch is being part of the CNN Money family, the website search is all over the board so most times if you want your luddite CEO to read an article, you literally have to clip it.

WIRED

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While not as great and idiosyncratic as it once was – still a MUST READ for anyone in technology and anyone who wants to keep a pulse on what’s out there and what’s coming. Broader scope than Business 2.0 so it still should be on your list.

FORTUNE

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The old standby is still a worthy read. Interesting analysis and solid writing – not nearly as important as it once was – not just for the fast flow of financial info available now but also because the WSJ has beefed itself up to include investigations, analysis along with top notch writing, there’s not a lot ground left for FORTUNE which might have a two week lag – so Fortune is not particularly ambitious now. More Old FORTUNE covers at NOSTALGAVILLE.

ECONOMIST

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I find the ECONOMIST frustrating to read – they seem to entice you with some great path they plan on taking and then the story ends … they’ll bring up an issue and slowly begin to cover the ground and discuss the myriad of possible solutions and rescourses AND then … quickly end it by saying, “we’ll it’ll be difficult.” WHERE’S THE REST? I’ll pay! Where is the rest. that’s it. It’s some bizarre philosophical theory of business writing. We’ll bring up issues and list all the what-if scenarios and then, well our job is done – you think long and hard – ta-ta! Maybe this is the British way but it’s damn annoying!

FORBES

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After Malcolm passed, it is just another bland magazine – if personalities and interviews with leaders, CEO’s, are your main interest, Forbes will do but frankly, there’s not much in here that you couldn’t find on the web.

FAST COMPANY

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Me’h.

HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW

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Only problem is it’s either really, really, really interesting or it’s really, really, really dull and you’d be amazed the amount of stupid research some academics have spent the last 5 years working on (after testing 5,000 people, we have determined men will look at a woman in a bikini photo versus one in nun’s habit … gee, you needed 5,000 guys to answer that question) or of course, the 5% of the articles where you read and re-read the same paragraph and think – it’s English and not Hebrew but I have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Magazine makes me feel stupid – waaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!

WSJ

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If you’re involved in the financial markets, managing people or need to keep a pulse on what’s what – regardless of your political slant – the WSJ is rock solid journalism – just winning a Pulitzer for uncovering the backdating option which might’ve slipped without anyone noticing. It’s just great.

Portfolio is already for your Blackberry.

And if you subscribe (a reasonable $15), you get a gaudy golf umbrella.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Conde Nast Portfolio: The Business of Business

  1. tizmanian

    nice recap, MediaXing! My big beef with CondeNast is having paid my $15 i expect the dang issue in my mailbox before the punting classes can claim theirs at the newsstand. Cheap, yeah. Timely? No!

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