American dream

American dream: As the start-up spin of American Magazine captures so much of what I blog about here: small business entrepreneur, Wal-Mart, magazine publishing and Tennessee, I can’t help but pull for its founders. My warning to the publishers, however, is simple: Don’t believe the hype. You’ve got a great story that fits perfectly into bigger currents going on in the world, especially the Wal-Mart-“racy magazine” faux controversy. The Wal-Mart angle can get you only so far. There are laws of magazine economics that are greater, even, than Wal-Mart. And as thousands of former Wal-Mart suppliers can tell you, Wal-Mart giveth and Wal-Mart taketh away. As much as this hurts me to suggest, if you get any feelers from a mega-magazine company, don’t think twice. Take the offer. Quickly. Call Jake Winebaum and ask him how he did it with Family Fun (but don’t ask him about what he did after that).