Inspired Beginnings

by Lewis DVorkin and Forbes, Inc.

This chapter is a free excerpt from The Forbes Model For Journalism In The Digital Age.

Forbes is the Bible of success, capitalistic endeavors and wealth, in America and throughout the world. Malcolm Forbes himself jump-started The Forbes 400 nearly 30 years ago. At first, his editors resisted. They didn’t see the “journalism” in it. Today, The Forbes 400, or “The Rich List,” as it’s known in-house, is the single most popular measure of “making it big” for immigrants like Malcolm’s father, Russian businessmen, Hip-Hop stars . . . well, for just about everyone, including an entire new generation of college graduates and dropouts hoping to be the next Mark Zuckerberg.

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Forbes is the Bible of success, capitalistic endeavors and wealth, in America and throughout the world. Malcolm Forbes himself jump-started The Forbes 400 nearly 30 years ago. At first, his editors resisted. They didn’t see the “journalism” in it. Today, The Forbes 400, or “The Rich List,” as it’s known in-house, is the single most popular measure of “making it big” for immigrants like Malcolm’s father, Russian businessmen, Hip-Hop stars . . . well, for just about everyone, including an entire new generation of college graduates and dropouts hoping to be the next Mark Zuckerberg.

Forbes’ legendary editor, Jim Michaels, brought his own special brand of journalism to the magazine and its mission. For more than 30 years, he cut to the heart of what it meant to be a successful capitalist – and often through the hearts of many renowned corporate executives who didn’t get it. He lived and breathed the principles of blogging – authenticity and voice – decades before it came into being.

Then, in 1996, with the strong support of Tim Forbes, the company launched a Web site at a time when nearly all major media companies couldn’t decide what to do about this thing called the Internet. Many still haven’t figured out, but Forbes.com quickly grew to 18 million monthly unique users. Forbes took another bold step by deciding to move beyond a Web site to a far more inclusive and scalable publishing platform. Knowing the world demands still more from its media industry, Forbes.com is now a place that puts news – and what I like to call “Entrepreneurial Journalism” – at the center of a social media experience.
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