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Eric Niu

Blaise Zerega, Condé Nast
Bruce Nussbaum, Businessweek
Facilitator: Patrick Whitney, Institute of Design

BZ: Why include design in a business magazine? It has become clear that good design is a competitive advantage. There is talk of the great design from Apple and Target (both of whom still don't command majority market share), so what kind of real value is being generated?

BN: Senior managers still don't go online, but need to talk about and learn the value of innovation and design in a new publication.

BZ: With commoditization of so many goods, companies must innovate to generate value. So design is moving in to help strategize and understand consumers and really understanding their needs.

People now really value choice. Of environment, of products. Personalization, co-creation. Contrast with Da Vinci who designed great things in his notebook, but couldn't ultimately create them.

BN: There is now a supply surplus, which shifts power to the consumer. So billions of people are enabled to design whatever they want.

An extremely creative consultant tried to break the Businessweek logo, but was ultimately fired. Was it too much? Can she do that? Businesses have a tremendous amount of difficulty managing creative talent.

BZ: Condé Nast wants to see not just iconic design, but to explore the processes of design thinking.

BN: NYTimes, WSJ, Forbes don't cover innovation, don't get it. Still cover design as home furnishings.

Marketing, sales people are the intermediaries, but they don't read magazines, they don't have the awareness to really speak about design and help Businessweek sell magazines.

BZ: Move from the magazine business into the content business. And this is how design can help Condé Nast. Stories will be different whether read online, on your phone, or in print.

BN: Immediate feedback online is wonderful for magazines. Blogs are direct letters to the editor (and the universe).


Target Audience?

BZ: Business people who don't subscribe to regular business magazines. People who want to be educated more than entertained.

BN: Design and business communities. Online readership from Europe and Asia, not necessarily corporate.

Content generation?

BN: Partner with Metropolis and Dwell. Find people in the space to bring content to the magazine. And then out in the real world with IBM, Lenovo, Motorola, HP, Bank of America, etc. No shortage of information.

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