My mother always comes up with these get-rich quick ideas whenever I’m looking for new work. Early last summer, when I found myself in such a predicament, she came up to me with this “great business model” she’d been speaking to somebody on the phone about: a distribution model in which I, as a third-party vendor of sorts, contact doctors’ offices and laundromats and other such businesses and sell them advertising-heavy magazines at “discounted” rates. I get to keep a big portion of the cut, pay for some of the print cost for smaller, local publications, and get to tour the city a lot looking for crummy joints who might be interested in my sales pitch.
I told her that there was no way I’d get involved in that — as far as I was concerned, people were all reading the news on their smartphones and tablets. And I was certain that magazines would become digitally replaced as soon as somebody figured out the best way to format a magazine for such devices. I told her I was tempted to get in on it and make a curated news app myself, just so I could prove to her that the market for paper magazines was seriously diminishing by comparison.