Business 2.0 Finally Dead… For Real This Time
from the how-very-un-2.0 dept
Business 2.0 has gone through a variety of changes over the years. I still remember when it launched to great fanfare (and silly mysterious billboards along Highway 101) in 1998. At the time, no one could figure out why the world needed another tech business magazine, when pretty much everyone was perfectly satisfied with Wired, Red Herring and Upside. Of course, soon afterwards even more tech business magazines started to show up, including Time Warner’s horribly named eCompanyNow and the popular Industry Standard (which launched at about the same time as Business 2.0, if I remember correctly). With the dot com bubble still inflating, these magazines soon were thick with ads, but people began ignoring them, as the articles tended to get worse and worse. Then the the dot com bubble burst, and many of the magazines went out of business in a flash, including The Industry Standard, Red Herring and Upside. Business 2.0 put itself up for sale, hoping to avoid the fate of the others. Time Warner “bought” it, but really just slapped the Business 2.0 name on eCompanyNow — which had never picked up much of a following.
Then, just as the magazine was starting to get to the point that it was worth paying attention to, the powers that be at Time Warner did the very-un-2.0 move of locking up all Business 2.0 content for non-subscribers — effectively ensuring that most folks paid little to no attention to the magazine for many years, until the company finally realized that it helps to have readers online and took down the pay wall. While the magazine did some good reporting (and had hired some top-notch reporters) during all of this time, it really was too little too late, as the magazine had missed its prime opportunity to become a voice that matters online. So, it comes as little surprise after all these years that Time Warner is finally shuttering the operation completely, and moving a few remaining staff members over to Fortune Magazine. In the end, it’s really rather unfortunate (or ironic?) that a magazine called Business 2.0 never quite figured out the 2.0 business model it needed to survive.