Smart Company is the newest kid on the digital publishing block. Backed by Eric Beecher's Private Media Partners, The Oz reports the business employs 10 staff, including a number of former BRW journalists led by publisher and co-owner Amanda Gome.
Actually, they are just about all former BRW journalists. There's been a veritable exodus from the magazine.
It's an interesting venture. I hope it does well. But I'm sort of scratching my head about their approach. According to The Oz the "investors spent less than $1 million creating Smartcompany and it is believed to have already turned cash-flow positive".
Why go down the subscription route, though? It just smacks of desperation and makes building the brand that much harder to do.
They've got a bunch of expensive journos and other infrastructure to support - they list 26 people on their masthead. OK, some are contributors, but that's still a lot of people.
It's not that dissimilar to the number of staff that used to run Shares and Personal Investor magazines. So it doesn't seem like a particularly good use of resources in today's online environment. It's the same old model - subscription based, inhouse produced, display ad driven.
Don't get me wrong, I think it's an honourable effort. But that's about it.
You could do so much more with a progressive, Web 3.0 style publishing operation for an SME and entrepreneurial audience.