Derek Powazek's history of JPG Magazine — from inspiration during a walk in the park with his wife, Flickr's Heather Champ, to his acrimonious departure — is a classic tale of entrepreneurial naivete. When Paul Cloutier, the designer's partner, jumped at the chief executive role, Powazek thought that meant they were still equal partners in the photography mag; and he felt he still "owned" the magazine even though he'd sold it, in exchange for a minority stake, to 8020 Publishing, a vehicle backed by CNET's Halsey Minor. Please.
In the interest of honesty with JPG's readers, Powazek draws six lessons from the experience, most of which are passive-aggressive rebukes to his former partner, who is portrayed as uncommunicative, incompetent, and dishonest. There's one lesson he didn't list. Creative talent and collegiality rarely go together. Stars like Powazek — half of one of the web's celebrity couples — make uncomfortable business partners. And their departures, as Powazek demonstrated yesterday, are rarely quiet.