Traditionally, at least over the last three years, our March issue has focused on entrepreneurship. But this year I had an opportunity to participate in a roundtable organized by Aspire Media’s Clay Hall at the Consumer Electronics Show, and I decided that should be our cover story.
My first reaction;and the first reaction of nearly everyone else I spoke to about the roundtable was, ‘What does the CES have to do with magazines?’
The answer was, ‘A lot,’ and as it turns out, it pertains directly to the notion of entrepreneurship as well. The CES was overwhelming;it’s really four or five shows in one. And it was all about phones. Or at least some single-unit devices. There was music on telephones, television on telephones, computer on television, television on computer, and so on.
It was a cacophony. Really. The event filled up Las Vegas. There were 140,000 attendees and 2,700 exhibitors. But Clay Hall is right and forward thinking to have a conversation about the CES and magazine publishing. In the end, all these devices require content and that’s the one thing that makes magazine publishers relevant in the context of the CES. Magazine publishers can produce content at a high-quality consistently, and sustain it indefinitely.
But to avoid marginalization they need to change their cultures and their business models. And that’s where the entrepreneurship part comes in. Hall and the other participants are changing their companies in important ways to respond. Is it enough? Read our roundtable, starting on page 24, and let me know.
Also in this issue are a series of reports on organic growth. Organic growth is by definition entrepreneurial and our five cases studies are an expert’s perspective on growth. Check it out on page 34.
Finally, don’t miss this year’s Folio: Publishing Summit. This elite event, held March 19-21 at the Westin Michigan Avenue in Chicago, is all about growth strategies. It features some of the most impressive speakers in the industry, including keynoters Joe Mansueto, owner of Fast Company and Inc.; Jim Spanfeller, CEO of Forbes.com; and Carr Davis and Anthony O’Brien, co-CEOs of Cygnus Business Media. Visit www.foliosummit.com for all the details.