Normally, Businessweek comes on Friday. For some reason this week, the magazine showed up today instead. I didn’t think much of it when I walked out to the driveway, actually. There it was, folded up in its weatherproof bag, just like usual.
I brought it inside and opened it up, and saw that they featured a tribute to Steve Jobs on the cover. It was spare and gorgeously typeset, with nothing but the title of the magazine, the iconic photo of the salt-and-pepper Jobs, and “Steve Jobs 1955-2011.” (link)
I opened up the magazine and started to flip through it, and was immediately engrossed. The first sixteen pages were a slideshow of moments from Jobs’ life juxtaposed with individuals engaging with Apple products, and engaging in life. All of these were overlaid with quotes of his, some familar, some new.
As I went through the issue, I honestly was pulled further and further into the stories and the images, and was completely enthralled. I shared it with Lisa, who was similarly taken in. Other than the photos and stories of Jobs’ life, there was nothing else between the covers.
I can’t clearly articulate how well done, how beautiful, the work is that was done in this magazine. I’ve honestly never seen anything like it. Yes, it says it’s the “October 10 – October 16” edition of a weekly magazine, but it feels much more like coffee table book, a biography, a memorial. A tribute.
Then I realized something…Jobs passed away on Wednesday, and this issue showed up overnight between Friday and Saturday, meaning that they must have scrambled mightily, stopped the presses on the issue they had planned, and delivered it within 48 hours.
There was one more thing.
I flipped back through the magazine, going from cover to cover to make sure I hadn’t missed something. I went back and looked at every page, and my suspicion was confirmed.
There was not a single ad in the issue. Not on a cover, not on a flap, not on a page, not even a classified. Not only did they scrap (or at least defer) everything in the issue they were planning on running, but they did it in the classiest way possible.
Phenomenal job, Businessweek team. Really, really well done.