Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Young New York?

There's a great article in New York magazine about Gawker (blog about media hounds in NYC). Might not be as relevant to those of us outside of NYC, but the sentiment/observations are pretty universal. In addition to some equally interesting and sad commentary on the petty, snarky judgements and criticism made by these bloggers - and the author's theories on what their motivation is for writing this - the piece makes an alarming observation on the overall attitude of young New York. While it's only 1 person's opinion - there's something about it that just feels close to reality. Makes Carrie Bradshaw feel like an even more far-fetched fairy tale character...

"No other form has lent itself so perfectly to capturing the current ethos of young New York, which is overwhelmingly tipped toward anger, envy, and resentment at those who control the culture and apartments. “New York is a city for the rich by the rich, and all of us work at the mercy of rich people and their projects,” says Choire Sicha, Gawker’s top editor (he currently employs a staff of five full-time writers). “If you work at any publication in this town, you work for a millionaire or billionaire. In some ways, that’s functional, and it works as a feudal society. But what’s happened now, related to that, is that culture has dried up and blown away: The Weimar-resurgence baloney is hideous; the rock-band scene is completely unexciting; the young artists have a little more juice, but they’re just bleak intellectual kids; and I am really dissatisfied with young fiction writers.” Sicha, a handsome ex-gallerist who spends his downtime gardening on Fire Island, is generally warm and even-tempered, but on this last point, he looks truly disgusted. “Not a week goes by I don’t want to quit this job,” he says, “because staring at New York this way makes me sick.”

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Visionaries (?)

I read an article about the former founder and Editor of this teen-oriented magazine, and her endeavors since (reportedly voluntarily) leaving the post. It started me thinking about visionaries and the self-initiative that drives many entrepreneurs and artists to pursue and ultimately profit from unconventional, forward-thinking ideas. Specifically - the passion for their ideas, drive to get it done, and unrelenting faith in seeing that idea come to (profitable) fruition.

Atoosa Rubinstein, left her post to pursue her passion in youth-oriented new media, collaborating with artists to develop these YouTube (arguably informative) videos. She's doing this with no profit target or particular business model in mind - for the time being - stating that this particular venture is currently purely an outlet for her creativity, and a means to continue to engage with the legions of young (aged and/or spirited) readers she's accrued since her time with CosmoGirl. Granted - she's got the financial freedom to be able to take some time off without focusing on a profit - and I'm sure she continues to get paid for her substantial insight into the collective and viable youth demographic - until her next digital media business model doubtlessly forms. But until it does, she has her sights on substantiating her creative ideas somehow (like these videos), and trusting that the way to profit from these will materialize itself during the process.

I love studying visionaries; their passion for a particular idea. The process of surrounding oneself with others with complementary interests, turning others onto your idea, and persuading them to become collaborators or investors. That moment when the idea and a way to generate revenue from it align. But most fascinating to me is the much-written and discussed reality that many of these visionaries have zero idea how their passion or idea will be profitable - they just focus on the end goal of substantiating that idea - and trust that the way to develop a profitable business model to support it will be revealed along the way.

That passion and vision is inspring to I just need the discipline to concentrate on at least one single idea/vision for long enough to be able to do something about it...