Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Successful Innovative Companies: Volume 4

The Successful Innovative Company of the week is: Alpinist Magazine.
What they do right: The give mountaineers, climbers, hard men, a sweet magazine. Everything about it is high quality. It has many full color full page pictures. It has high definition pictures of people suffering doing crazy stuff. The binding is perfect bound, basically the same as a paperback or National Geographic. The pages are thick and the magazine is meant to last. You can feel that this magazine is a notch above other just by the way it feels. It feels like a huge picture book.

Everything about Alpinist screams sincerity and quality. They get the best climbers to write. Just reading one of the articles you feel like you climb harder than you do. This is not a magazine for beginners. There is no "how to climb 5.10" or "ways to hold an ice axe" articles because they appeal to a different crowd. Many editions mention dead people, who died climbing.

They were founded about eight years ago and produce four editions per year. Each edition is something with lasting quality containing information that is not readily available on the internet. They profile a mountain or crag in every issue providing nice topographical climbing maps and histories about the people that first ventured into the unknown on those climbs and the people that pushed the limits. (By the way if anyone reading this would sell me, or even loan me, Alpinist #2, the Gasherbrum 4 edition I will pay a lot for it.)

What they could improve: The subscription costs are expensive, $46 per year. However it is really good quality and there are few ads. In fact, the adds are all full page ads so they flow a little better than traditional magazine ads. I could say that more issues would be nice but as it is I do not want them to pump out more quantity because the quality might suffer.

In fact they take the ethic of a quality magazine so seriously that in the fall of 2008 they went bankrupt and closed the doors. They were quickly bought up and are now back to making a great magazine, albeit with a few more ads.

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