Jason Binn founded Niche Media, the publisher of such titles at Gotham, Hamptons, and LA Confidential. By holding a mirror up to America's richest and making a pretty penny doing so, he's currently lending the midas touch to Gilt Group as a Chief Advisor.
Jason Binstock was determined to get noticed after graduating from Boston University. So the Roslyn, Long Island native mailed off perfumed, "personal and confidential" birthday cards to a bunch of top execs on Madison Avenue—with his resume enclosed, of course—a stunt that led him to his first job in the industry at the D'Arcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles agency. Binn was soon on the move, though, and headed to Miami where he teamed up with Jerry Powers, the former manager of pop artist Peter Max, to launch Ocean Drive. The magazine quickly took off thanks to Binn's aggressive promotional tactics, like hiring bikini-clad models to rollerblade around South Beach handing out copies. Binn returned to New York in 1998 and embarked on a magazine venture of his own. With financing from his wealthy father, he acquired Hamptons magazine, launching his second title, Gotham, three years later. Operating on a "controlled circulation" basis sent gratis to the "right" people, namely households in the right zip codes with plenty of disposable income, Binn made a name for himself by filling his mags with publicist-friendly Q&As, party photos, and enthusiastic reviews of the spas and stores who just so happen to advertise in the magazine. After launching numerous subsequent titles, Binn stepped down from Niche Media in 2010 to work with Gilt Group, among other ventures, in an effort to lure prestigious luxury brands to offer a Gilt discount. [Image via Getty]