Bob Guccione, Jr. began his career at the age of 18 in the UK where he became Britain's youngest-ever publisher. A year later he returned to America and launched the monthly music magazine, Rock Superstars, making him America's then youngest-ever publisher. In 1985, he launched SPIN, the enormously successful music magazine that usurped Rolling Stone as the dominant pop culture magazine for 18-24 year olds. In 1997, Guccione sold SPIN to Vibe Ventures and in 1998 launched Gear, a young men's lifestyle magazine, which closed in 2003. In October 2005, Guccione completed the acquisition of science magazine, Discover, from Disney and formed Discover Media, LLC. In the two years Guccione ran the title before stepping down as Chairman in December 2007, the magazine returned to profitability. He is now helping launch a new luxury lifestyle magazine in New York called Prestige New York.
Guccione: That’s a great question. Part of it is blind luck. By the way, part of everything is blind luck. You know, really, you can just rewind everything we said in this interview, you can have blind luck. Certainly, in my career, I’ve been incredibly lucky. I always say I wasn’t as good as Spin made me look or wasn’t as bad as Gear made me look when it failed. I had a lot of great luck with Spin as well as some good hard work and some good instinct. So, you know, I think luck is important even in creativity, because people walk in the door, and if they like it, they will call their friends and they’ll walk in the door. You know, sometimes you meet somebody randomly and you said, “Why won’t you try writing for me?” or “How would you like to be a photographer for me?” You know, it happens. The environment though to sustain the atmosphere of creativity is you have to have the balls to risk doing something edgy and having it fail. I used to say to all my photographers who came to work for me, you know, I said, “I love your portfolio. Take pictures that you would put in your portfolio. Do not give me middle of the road, average photography that you think is safe, so I’ll hire you again. I’m telling you that three assignments, I don’t care if the first two are crap but you still got a third.” So [when their] confidence go out and take your pictures because that’s the voice I want in the magazine. I said to my writers the same thing. Don’t give me a safe middle of the road piece. Give me an edgy piece. Find the truth. The truth may not be pleasant, we’ll publish it either way if it’s true. But go out there in the confidence and I’m still going to hire you unless you steal from us, then I’m not going to hire you, and that happen. But, you know, basically, one has to foster a confidence amongst ones creative people. There’s nobody less creative, I mean, less confident in creative people and I say that to myself when I’m writing, less confident to anybody on the planet, I’m sure. But, you must foster confidence. People must feel they can actually go and be artists for you. Now, lot of editors and publishers don’t want artistry. They want straightforward industrial views of product as to fill the space. Don’t upset your advertisers. A complaint I have about Conde Nast is that they are more concerned about not upsetting their advertisers than they are about delivering edgy pieces. You know, then we feel... Well, of course, deliver great pieces and sell in New York, those are two exemptions. But you have to foster confidence that people can go out and actually reach the brass ring in each assignment and then you get credibility and that begets other creativity.
Bob Guccione, Jr. says fostering confidence among employees cultures creativity
The 21st century is experiencing an Asianization of politics, business, and culture.
- Our theories about the world, even about history or the geopolitics of the present, tend to be shaped by Anglo perspectives of the Western industrial democracies, particularly those in the United States and the United Kingdom.
- The West, however, is not united. Canada, for instance, acts in many ways that are not in line with American or British policies, particularly in regard to populism. Even if it were united, though, it would not represent most of the world's population.
- European ideas, such as parliamentary democracy and civil service, spread across the world in the 19th century. In the 20th century, American values such as entrepreneurialism went global. In the 21st century, however, what we're seeing now is an Asianization — an Asian confidence that they can determine their own political systems, their own models, and adapt to their own circumstances.
Research has shown that men today have less testosterone than they used to. What's happening?
- Several studies have confirmed that testosterone counts in men are lower than what they used to be just a few decades ago.
- While most men still have perfectly healthy testosterone levels, its reduction puts men at risk for many negative health outcomes.
- The cause of this drop in testosterone isn't entirely clear, but evidence suggests that it is a multifaceted result of modern, industrialized life.
Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
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