Inventing the Makeover
Allure (republished on Medium), September 2013It all started in 1936, when an unhappy nurse’s pleading letter saved a struggling magazine. Why do we find before-and-after features compelling?
The Kickstarter Culture Wars
Plans to grow genetically modified plants ignited a firestorm at Kickstarter. They shouldn't have.
TIME, August 25, 2013
What If What You ’Survived’ Wasn’t Cancer?
Bloomberg View, August 17, 2013You’re feeling fine when you go for your annual physical. But your mammogram looks a little funny, or your PSA test is a little high, or you get a CT lung scan and a nodule shows up. You get a biopsy, and the doctor delivers the bad news: You have cancer. Because you don’t want to die, you agree to be sliced up and irradiated. Then, fortunately, you’re pronounced a “cancer survivor.” You’re glad they caught it early.But maybe you went through all that pain for nothing.
Billionaire Barons Back in the Newspaper Game
Bloomberg View, August 05, 2013When I stepped down as the editor of Reason magazine in 2000, I had no idea I was leaving behind the business model of the future.I left nonprofit publishing just as the Internet was about to do to metropolitan dailies and many other periodicals what television had done to general-interest magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post and Collier’s: Destroy their businesses by swiping their advertisers and giving their audience alternative content free.
Serendipity and Samples Can Save Barnes & Noble
Bloomberg View, July 13, 2013Turmoil at Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS), where Chief Executive Officer William Lynch resigned last week after the company posted an unexpectedly large loss in the quarter ended April 30, has people in the publishing industry worried. “We’re all forced to ask: What would the book discovery environment look like without Barnes & Noble?” writes Rich Fahle, a former Borders executive who runs a marketing agency for authors.
Container Store Sells Zen and Glamour in a Box
Bloomberg View, July 01, 2013The most glamorous store in America may be going public. I don’t mean Neiman Marcus Inc. -- or Bergdorf Goodman, which it owns -- although the luxury retailer is glamorous to many people, and it did just file for an initial public offering. I’m talking about Container Store Inc.
Hey, Matisse, How About a Time Share in Atlanta?
Bloomberg View, June 06, 2013Detroiters are up in arms at the suggestion in my column today that the treasures in the Detroit Institute of Arts might be better off in museums in younger, growing cities. They have completely understandable parochial interests -- and local pride -- at stake. But they also have bankruptcy staring them in the face.There is, however, a way Detroit could raise money and share its art with other cities without relinquishing its treasures altogether: a time share.
Detroit’s Van Gogh Would Be Better Off in L.A.
Bloomberg View, June 05, 2013When the news broke that if Detroit goes into bankruptcy the city might cover some of its $15 billion debt by selling Detroit Institute of Arts treasures, the reaction was predictable and the language harsh.
Sick Girl May Get a Lung but It's Not a Happy Ending
Bloomberg View, June 04, 2013A child dying of cystic fibrosis now has a shot at a lung transplant. A federal judge in Pennsylvania has ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to let 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan move from waiting list for lungs from deceased children to the waiting list for lungs from adults.
Why “Star Trek Into Darkness” Is Smaller Than Life
Bloomberg View, May 22, 2013Like most blockbuster summer movies, “Star Trek Into Darkness” sells escapism. But not all versions of cinematic escapism are the same.