Book your reservations on the River Styx now! Place your bets on what The Grim Reaper believes will be one of the richer passengers to cross over a few years from now. I have to admit that I am having one of my boatsmiths constructing a special gold-plated monogrammed vessel for the future Conde Nast business title.
No title yet. Doesn't matter. The Reaper knows a prime candidate when it sees one. As usual, Conde Nast is spending lots of cold hard cash to lure people from the Wall Street Journal, Fortune and others to come aboard what may probably be the "Vanity Fair of business magazines." The unnamed title is coming out in 2007, but that hasn't stopped them from hiring people way way in advance, probably working hard on prototype after prototype.
The Reaper knows there'll be a ton of money spent on hires, to lure them away from the competitors. Those hires will say, "I was ready for a new challenge and I could not pass up the opportunity." They were ready for fatter paychecks.
The Reaper knows that David Carey will be boasting about how many ad pages are in the first issue.
The Reaper knows there'll be a BIG party when it launches. And the Reaper knows that the cover will be plastered in the NY Post and other places. They will be diving headfirst into a shaky category that is experiencing its bumps -- even Forbes has quietly put itself up for an investor's stake.
The Reaper knows that there'll be a big ad campaign to launch it and there'll be millions spent to promote the first two issues. The Reaper knows there'll be plenty of advertising in the first two or three issues from marketers who just want to ride the initial buzz wagon.
The Reaper will be checking off all these things from a big list kept for Conde Nast launches.
The Reaper knows that after the bloom is off the rose, people are going to wonder if another flashy business magazine is necessary. Will their target readers actually buy it from the newsstand once it hits issue three or four... or will the love affair die, like it did with Cargo?
Time will tick on, and The Grim Reaper will be here waiting. One year goes by.... hypemaster David Carey will assure everybody everything is OK, they are just "tweaking the editorial mix" and perhaps the design.
Two years go by. Conde Nast is protecting its very expensive investment. They will try provocative covers for a business magazine... the Reaper will start posting Odds of Survival... reports are leaking out that the sell-through is 20% or under... some of the reporters and editors are returning to Fortune, BusinessWeek, and Forbes.
The Reaper, of course, wants an invitation to that launch party but then again, the Reaper is often the uninvited guest.