Thursday, November 03, 2005

Silicon Insider: "Forbes is the Anti-Indicator"

Commentary in ABC News by Michael S. Malone:

First, a quick surf of the Web showed me a blogosphere on fire — with excitement over the birth of Pajamas Media, consumed with jealously over not being part of it, or pre-emptively attacking it with near incoherence for alleged biases, incompetence or abuse of power. Not bad for an enterprise that doesn't even formally exist yet. Whenever a new idea in high-tech attracts this much adulation and calumny, you can be sure that it is on to something — and that everyone doing the attacking is secretly plotting how to compete with it.

But the real confirmation that the game is afoot in the blogosphere came from a Forbes magazine cover story that literally hit the stands while we were in the summit. I'd noticed that one of the panelists, Paul Maidment, head of, was unusually circumspect with the crowd about where he worked. After I saw the magazine, I understood why.

As I've noted in this column many times over the years, I used to run Forbes' technology magazine, Forbes ASAP, which was based in Silicon Valley. ASAP was probably the largest circulation technology-business magazine in the world. I like to think it was because of the good writing and editing, but the truth is that we were respected then, and remembered now, because we understood technology, and we got the big stuff right.

By comparison, when it comes to technology, the mother ship, Forbes magazine, NEVER, EVER gets the big stuff right. It is, in fact, one of the best technology counter-indicators I know. If you want to learn about mutual funds or the annual incomes of dead celebrities, Forbes is the place to go. But when it comes to tech, read Fortune or, if you can stay awake, Business Week because if Forbes says something ain't so, by God it must certainly be the case.


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