Making Something From Nothing
I was talking to a colleague the other day about our cover story on Schofield Media;a fast-rising b-to-b firm with an unusual business model. He said we might hear from the major established b-to-b players for putting a little-known, unconventional company on the cover.
Actually, I think we’re doing those companies a favor. Here’s a publisher that’s virtually unknown, generating more than $30 million in the construction, food service, manufacturing and energy markets. We identified a successful competitor they never knew existed. Say what you want about Schofield Media’s model, it is doing something right. Founder Andrew Schofield built his company based on a "profile" model: His magazines research markets for best practices, and then do profiles on the companies they find, selling advertising to the suppliers of the profiled companies. Now, with the acquisition of four magazines from VNU a year ago, he is migrating to a more traditional model.
Andrew Schofield came to the U.S. as a 30-year-old, with a one-year-old company and a vision to create a $100 million global publisher within a decade. With revenue now at $40 million and 14 magazines, his company is well on its way.
Some publishers may dismiss the Schofield model, but that often happens with entrepreneurs. Great ideas are only seen in retrospect. Beforehand, they usually look like crazy, ﾑhigh-risk-and-why-bother’ endeavors. That’s why the rewards for entrepreneurs are great;because they put it on the line. The losses are just as catastrophic if the idea fails. In Schofield’s case, what’s not disputable is that he had a big idea, he took a risk, he executed on the idea and created something substantial.
There’s something about magazine-company entrepreneurs that is fascinating. It’s that belief in the idea, in the ability to deliver value that is universally appealing. We dedicated this issue to entrepreneurship. As you read through it, you’ll find it’s packed with great, action-oriented reports from the frontlines of risk-taking and media creation. From the small b-to-b examples of BZ Media (page 18) and BevNet (page 43), to the large-scale consumer example of Bill Curtis (page 29), you’ll find in this issue of Folio: the case studies, techniques, financial realities and ultimately, the insight and inspiration you need to build your company or start a new one.
Regardless of whether you’re an entrepreneur at a startup or an executive at an established publisher, you’re focused on growth. Join us (and hundreds of your colleagues) at the Folio: Publishing Summit;Magazine Growth Strategies, March 27-29 at the Westin Michigan Avenue in Chicago to discuss how to get your product on the fast track. Registrations are "through the roof." Visit www.foliosummit.com for complete details.
Editor & Publisher