Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Printed Blog Shutters Operations With Some Regrets, No Plans For Future Revival

Today marked the closing of The Printed Blog.

Chicago Business Powered By Crain's has a comprehensive interview with The Printed Blog's Founder Joshua Karp discussing his struggle to convince the venture capital community of TPB's viability.

An excerpt from Crain's reads:

What would you do differently if you could start over? Any tweaks to the concept?

I would launch exactly the same business, but I would focus like a laser on one neighborhood, probably Palo Alto, Calif. I would get local and national blogs, great photographs, and put together one first issue. I'd print it out, then walk up and down the streets of Palo Alto, selling ads (and dropping off copies at every VC office I encountered). I'd make a local Palo Alto edition successful, and prove that I could generate revenue to cover my costs. Then, I'd expand, slowly to neighboring communities, until I was putting them under windshield wipers of cars in the Google parking lot.

The only, reluctant tweak to the concept I wish I had included was a social network. I wrongly figured that VCs would be tired of people starting social networks that relied on very elusive advertising for revenue. I was wrong. That's a component that was missing from my plan.

ADMAVEN's January 2009 interview with Joshua Karp and subsequent article highlighted the enthusiasm and promise behind the business model.

It's sad to see a hybrid form of old and new media fail. What does this bode for the future of print? Are even the most innovative print models doomed to failure simply because fewer and fewer people prefer the medium each year?

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