December 8, 2010

During the last two days I had a rather strange experience. I enjoyed reading a magazine. I actually read every article of the last issue of Monocle, studied the design, looked at their website and tried to figure out their business model.

I was impressed by their advertisements. The magazine is packed with them, so advertisers know to find them. They are capable of producing or co-producing stunning new forms of advertising for their clients. I wonder if these brands work directly with the Monocle team or if they go through an agency, be it media or branding.

I bought the magazine at ABC in Amsterdam. The coverprice actually was more or less the same as it’s subscription price. Another innovation, one could say.

Besides the magazine, they produce a televisionshow for Bloomberg and publish a newspaper. How about that!

They own shops and of course sell through their webshop.

The editor already made his mark with Wallpaper* of course, but I think Monocle is top of the bill and a very fresh inspiration for publishers worldwide.

Yes, it can be done. It still is possible to combine surprising and interesting high quality content with 21st century business thinking.  A prime example.

Certainly worth my full attention for the 6 hours it took me to read. And I will keep the issue and reread it.

If you want to experience Monocle, you have to buy the magazine and hold it in your hands.

The New Monopolists

December 7, 2010

GOOG today unveiled the Nexus S and released a new version of the Android operating system. 

Yesterday GOOG opened the long anticipated online bookstore

Amazon responded today by launching Kindle for Web.

In the meantime Amazon still is investing enormous amounts of effort and money in services for the cloud. Even wikileaks used to use it.

Facebook is working hard on its big deal with Bing and in my humble opinion still trying to catch up with Twitter’s Real Time approach, while Apple is launching apps for magazines by the dozen.

What does it all mean?

I don’t know, time will tell. But two things are sure.

One: the pace of innovation has accelerated again.

Two: we are in the grip of New Monopolists.