Resurrecting 'The Industry Standard'
The New York Times is reporting that IDG wants to bring back the once high-flying magazine, but it really should remain a beautiful and ludicrous memory.
You hear it in the halls of the Web 2.0 conferences. You taste it in the sushi at launch events. You feel it when you see the entertainment, bands like Third Eye Blind, hired to play at industry parties. The bubble is back.
And now, The New York Times offers up yet another example of prospective dot-com madness--the rumored return of The Industry Standard.
I worked at The Industry Standard for two years before it sank in the wake of the sector's irrational exuberance in 2001, along with other former rising stars like Flooz.com and Kosmo.com.
The Industry Standard, backed by tech publishing powerhouse IDG and started by Wired founder John Battelle, chronicled the rise of what it called "the Internet Economy." It became the fastest growing publication in the history of the U.S. and was known as much for its Friday happy-hour rooftop parties as for the classified pages-size tomes it produced.
Curious what Battelle would say to the notion of an Industry Standard revival, I e-mailed him. "I wish them well. And that's it," was all he replied. There was no love lost between him and IDG, which in the end pulled the plug on its most glamorous title in the face of huge financial losses.
Despite all the fizz in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, Wall Street isn't falling for the buzz, at least not yet. But, just like I don't look forward to a reprise of the dot-com hype and indulgence, I also know there couldn't be another Industry Standard, with all of its excitement and excess.
Maybe, like Nixon and his era, The Industry Standard should just stay dead.