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February 25 2009 | Jim's Blog,
by Jim

Sometimes starting from scratch is the way to go.

Sometimes, if you really want to create a net new approach, dial up the freshness and take some chances, you need to take out a blank napkin and start drawing.

Good Magazine did that a few years ago and is maturing nicely. It reminds me of the first few years WIRED existed ('94 ->) which then became slotted into the right time, right place as the internet took hold with Netscape 1.0. Good has a similar apropos feel.

Good is a monthly magazine with a pay-what-you-please model (a la Chris Anderson's about-to-be-released book on "free", Radiohead's Rainbow breakthrough, etc). This approach enables subscribers to attach their own value to the periodical. Those kinds of business model chances aren't easy to pull off on a few-decade old publication.

But I don't want to overplay the WIRED comparison as it also reminds me of the Economist a bit due to the heft in the subjects covered. I'd also throw in a dash of DWELL for some urban/prefab hipness... and then sprinkle the whole thing with some Edward Tufte-inspired charts and graphics.

I like this mag, a lot.

The theme of the current issue is The Planet helps it overlap with our mission a bit more than usual.

I opened up this issue and was stopped at the first ad, for Toyota I believe. It stopped me for two reasons. The first was the fact that the ad had literally integrated relevant table of content data into the body of it's text. The ad copy literally points to two articles IN the magazine. That reminded me of things we did in the early days of ecommerce... when you can access knowledge/analytics that weren't available prior it's fun to spin them into the consumer space. The second reason it stopped me was because the two articles the ad pointed to... intersect our mission directly. One pointed to wave energy and the other to single-use plastic bans. Excellent way to use two advertising pages and do more than point to yourself... I spent a few minutes on that ad alone dissecting it.

I even like the fact they used the word "good" for the title. There are enough mags out there trying their hardest to be "bad." Sure Martha Stewart tried to corner the market on "good things," but we're all well beyond that.

Kudos to the team that started this pub and to the crew that spins out issues every month. And thank you for aiming your sights at one of the larger issues facing us all... the future of our planet.

I know the name is good but I think it's great.
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