The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Grow or Die

Posted on | November 10, 2010 | 2 Comments

There is no end to innovation, and those who fall behind the curve are doomed to decline, as witness the eclipse of Slate:

It was born in 1996, which is not just pre-Twitter, but pre-Google, a time when people got online by opening the CDs AOL sent them in the mail. . . .
[Slate honcho Jacob Weisberg said:] “We basically invented blogging. And sort of the whole tone of the Web, which to me comes out of email more than anything else, a much more colloquial, personal form of diction. I think Slate was the publication that really, more than anyone else, developed that voice, which in some ways has now infiltrated back into print.”

Montgomery Ward, Sears & Roebuck, W.T. Grant, J.C. Penney — all were once retail leaders, now eclipsed by Wal-Mart.

The same principle holds true in the online world. Five million hits? It’s a good start. That’s all it is.

UPDATE: The Rhetorican points out that Salon is still bleeding red ink after 15 years online. Hey, when you post a quarterly loss of more than $800,000 and that’s an improvement . . .

In its most recent SEC filings, Salon Media Group showed losses of $817,000 in the second quarter of this year, an improvement on the $1.255 million the company lost during the same period of last year. Including physical property, Salon currently has total assets of $2.027 million, but the company also has $9.477 million in liabilities for a total deficit of $7.45 million.
For now, Salon is staying afloat with the help of loans from investors. Between now and March 31, 2011, the end of the fiscal year, Salon “anticipates continued but reduced operating losses.” Salon’s second quarter earnings report includes this eye-poppingly vague admission: “Salon estimates it will require between $500 and $1 million in additional funding to meet its operating needs for the balance of its fiscal year. If planned revenues are less than expected, or if planned expenses are more than expected, the cash shortfall may be higher, which will result in a commensurate increase in required financing.”

BTW, if there are any investors out there who feel an overwhelming urge to lose $272,000 a month publishing a Webzine, please drop me an e-mail. I’d be glad to advise you on money-losing opportunities in the online world.

Or just hit the tip jar and we’ll call it a “consulting fee.”


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