As you might have heard, Conde Nast's Portfolio launches today. The most important business magazine of its generation, Portfolio starts life with 185 ad pages in a 332-page issue. Cond chair Si Newhouse says the book was "inspired by a positive response to business articles in Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, although he could not recall precisely which ones." (We have the same problem!) Conde 's willing to dump around $125 million into making the mag a success, but some see the publication as a shot across Time Inc.'s bow. In any event, it's the little things that make the difference. Like the pillows in the "idea lab."
Portfolio's executives are playing up their differences. For example, in a converted 11th-floor conference room, a place [publisher David] Carey likes to call his "idea lab," black leather couches from Design Within Reach are accessorized with throw pillows. On one side of each pillow is the gray pinstripe often used in Portfolio's branding; on the other, fuchsia satin is meant to signify luxury and includes a corner strip of the magazine's logo. "[Advertisers] come here, admire the pillows, and by the time they get back to the office, there's one waiting for them," said Carey proudly.Meanwhile, over at the magazine's website, economics blogger Felix Salmon is already trashing the articles. Maybe they didn't send him a pillow.