5.15.2007

A Web 2.0 Cautionary Tale: The Theft of JPG Magazine

Derek Powazek – The Real Story of JPG Magazine wherein the two founders, Derek and Heather, saw their labor of love grow into something special and wonderful and attractive enough for vultures to swoop in on.

A few key mistakes, trusting the wrong people and the magazine discarded the two founders, just like that. And all because the CEO, previously a pal, wanted to rewrite the magazine's creation story even though everybody already knew how the mag came to be. It was just stupid.

Part of the fallout from this pretty despicable act can be found in the Flickr group The Unofficial JPG Mag Group. So far, the reaction has been to delete accounts with JPG Mag, express outrage at the mistreatment of two valued and very highly regarded founders and a wish to spread the news as widely as possible.

With enough spreading of the news, the magazine will fail and the community of photographers and readers will send a very, very clear message to the jerks who stole the pub.

I really like how Derek notes a few hard-learned lessons:-
What I Learned

If it’s any help to other entrepreneurs, here’s what I’ve learned.

1. Make no assumptions when it comes to roles and responsibilities. Like my dad says: “Someone’s gotta call quittin’ time.”
2. Communication between partners is mandatory. And you cannot communicate with someone who is not communicating with you.
3. Decisions aren’t decisions if you have to keep making them. Set on the course and stick to it. If you keep talking about things that have already been decided, nothing will ever get done.
4. When someone says one thing, but acts in a contradictory way, you have a choice between believing their words or believing their deeds. Believe their deeds.
5. Never let anyone tell you what you want. When someone says, “You don’t want that,” what they really mean is, “I don’t want you to have that.”
6. Don’t stay where you’re not wanted, respected, or happy. Even if it’s your company.
Bummer that he had to learn this in the process of having his baby stolen from him. I'd be interested in hearing JPG Mag's side of the story as well but they've demonstrated an open willingness to engage in lies and exagerations of truth so their rebuttal would be taken with a grain of salt.

There is, of course, a MeFi thread on this as well.

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