Why I quit reading business magazines

Until recently I read a lot of business publications. Mags like Inc., Fast Company, Wired, and so forth. They are all excellent and I had their web sites saved and read them almost daily. But I started to notice a trend in the subject matter. It seemed everything I read fell into one of two categories:

1) stories about people who went from having an idea to starting and then selling their company for 10s or 100s of millions of dollars in just 12 months.


2) “How to” articles that outline formulas for success in some area of business. Stuff like, “10 ways to market your app successfully” or “Three keys to sales success.”

It occurred to me that stories that fit into category 1 are impossible to replicate and involve a lot of luck, while the stories that fit into category 2 tend to summarize current trends, or the latest “hot” methods in any field. More importantly, I tend to believe that by the time one of these pubs writes about this these trends, they are not all that uncommon. Early adopters have validated their efficacy, which helps mitigate the risk for you if you replicate them. But then again, if tons of other people like me are reading the same pubs and getting the same ideas, then those ideas are by default no longer cutting edge, and perhaps could lose their effectiveness.

More importantly, I simply realized at my own creativity becomes diluted when I’m filling my mind with this type of content, and I want to keep my creative juices ripe. So I stopped, cold turkey. I deleted the bookmarked URLs for those pubs and decided to let my ideas come naturally.

I’ll confess, I was a little uncomfortable at first because I had become accustomed to reading those pubs frequently. So we’ll see how it goes. If you’ve read this blog long enough, you’ve seen that we try to be honest and open, so I’ll report back if I determine this is a failed idea and return to reading business publications.

In the mean time, I can report one early success: we’re about to launch something new on our Home page, and it’s the result of the alchemy of ideas from looking at the Lily Pottery, the Mountain Khakis, and the Electra Bicycles web sites while buying Christmas gifts, and being inspired by images like these…

(Lily Pottery)

(Electra Bicycles)

(Mountain Khakis)


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