Business Reporting

I read a lot of business press. I find most of it pretty boring.

I picked up a copy of Business 2.0 this week. I was prompted by this highlight article from CBS Marketwatch. I wanted to experience the hipper version of Fortune.

The feature this month is “How to Succeed in 2004”. They talked to 18 people about everything from nanotechnology to bridge. I don’t feel any smarter after reading these little snippets. I don’t know what to do with business advice that is delivered as trivia.

The one article I did enjoy was “The Rise of the Instant Company”. I am going to subscribe for a year and see if it is worth the time to find the one good article each month.

Here is what I am looking for:

I want a magazine that makes me smarter.
I want a magazine that will make me think about business a different way.
I want a magazine that will inspire me.

Fast Company used to do that. There was energy and excitement that fueled the magazine. They told stories about interesting people and their companies and you heard about them first in FC. I looked forward to every issue.

With the dot com bust, some say FC has run out of things to talk about. I don’t think that is the case. There are always interesting things to write about, but something at FC has changed. All of the articles now are PR pieces for people who are releasing books. It also seems the new editor John Bryne has decided to make FC a magazine that reports about business. The Wal-Mart piece in this month’s issue is a good example. Great reporting, not very inspiring. The one place you can still find inspiration is in Seth Godin’s monthly column.

2 thoughts on “Business Reporting

  1. I read the same article, and decided to try their free trial subscription — despite knowing AOL Time Warner’s less than exemplary policy with spam.

    They have a hideous track record when to comes to junk mail, privacy, etc. For future reference, you should be VERY CIRCUMSPECT about giving them any information. For example, sign up for a free “Business 2.0” and you may very well get deluged with spam and junk offers, UNLESS you go to their privacy page and then to their opt out page — even after THAT, you receive a message saying it may take a week to process.

    Time Warner, like AOL, has their default set to “Now with extra Spam!” Just a heads up. (I cancelled all of my TWX magazines subs because of this — they are relentlessly obnoxious.)

    After checking the “don’t send me any special offers” opt out box, the very next day, they sent me a survey as to how my experience was (not good).

    I immeidately cancelled the subscription — before recieiving a single issue!

    I subsequently recieved 2 more survey requests. The3rd time was the charm, and I gave them bad marks across the board — harsh, but accurate.

    Moral of the story: DO NOT GIVE TIME WARNER WEBSITES any personal info, or its spam city. Use a spam account (Hotmail, etc)

  2. I starting getting it two months ago on the recommendation of Jay Solo. I like some of it. In addition to the piece you mentioned, I liked the one about reading faces and how it revealed true consumer emotions. I didn’t get much out of the snippets either, but I did think the one about Google’s work-week software was interesting.

    I really like it overall, because I like challenging, counterintuitive business ideas, and Business2.0 comes the closest to providing that. It is like FC used to be, although I think FC is starting to get back on track after some down years.

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