I could write a book on what it took to get this premiere issue of 425 Business to you.
If I did, I might begin by talking about the 30-plus other books I’ve written in the past eight years, and how in early 2014 I put the brakes on that career as a full-time author and signed on to help create this magazine from the ground up.
The history, vision, and commitment to quality of 425 Business’ parent company, Premier Media Group, drew me in. I had known publisher Josh Dunn for several years and instantly fell in love with his idea and vision. He wanted to provide Eastsiders with a business magazine that was both fun to read and informative.
Always one to carefully consider all options, I did take some time to reflect, and I began with that fundamental childhood question: What did I want to be when I grew up? I knew the answer as early as my fourth-grade project fair. My family photo album has a newspaper clipping from that event. In the photo, I’m standing beside a green school desk that’s supporting a Polaroid camera, an ink pen, and a spiral notebook. On the wall behind me is a poster that contains the answer:
I got my first professional newspaper job a dozen years later. I covered council meetings in cities that elicit a “Where’s that?” response from those I mention them to, and I covered high school track meets at places that sometimes couldn’t field enough volunteers, so I — reporter’s notebook in hand — stepped in to help in that capacity, too.
Those assignments weren’t my field of dreams. Although I enjoyed them and the people I met, my childhood dream expanded. I freelanced for bigger publications. I created a public relations firm that I ran from my home for five years. I co-founded and operated a successful nonprofit. I published my first book in 2006 and my 31st a month ago. I won some awards, met some celebrities (and sporadically became one myself), made some money.
Then Josh approached me with the idea of starting a new magazine. I love challenges. I have a passion for old-school journalism. I had peaked in my genre of book writing.
I am excited, and I’m all in.
Any discussion of how this magazine got into your hands certainly shouldn’t be all about Josh or me. In the past few months, we hired talented staff from across the country. We formed an advisory board that includes more than 20 of the top Eastside business professionals. We met with other key executives to solicit feedback and input.
Basically, we started up. And that’s the theme of our first issue. Inside, you’ll find a package about starting a business: our favorite startups to watch, advice from successful entrepreneurs, and an update on the incubator trend on the Eastside. Our columnists and departments will cover the gamut — from tech to products, lifestyle, wealth management, and travel. And our news section will complement our website, 425business.com, which we will update each weekday.
We’ve spent a ton of time determining what should be in this first issue and how it should be presented. Still, we appreciate your input and feedback as to how we can make the magazine better. This magazine is and always will be a work in progress, as is life.
JEFF BURLINGAME, EDITOR IN CHIEF