Service of Launches

September 24th, 2012

Categories: Launch, Magazines, Marketing, Technology


In spite of lackluster economic forecasts I know of two launches last week, both made possible by a combination of intelligence, flare, diligence, hard work and technology.

You couldn’t have missed news of the iPhone 5-as much of a happening as an opportunity to upgrade–so there’s no point my going on about it except to wonder about the strategy of making millions of folks wait so long to get one.

money-in-pilesFirst weekend sales, projected in the $8 to $10 million range, prove I don’t know what I’m talking about, but if you didn’t sign up at 5 a.m. on a certain day, or spend a week waiting in line outside a store–and I always wonder how these eager buyers can afford the phone if this is how they spend their time–you’ll get the device in about a month. In Apple time won’t the iPhone 5 be old news in 30 days?

Back to last week’s launches: You may have missed the premier issue of ISLE, a striking online magazine founded by its editor, Lisa McGee, an American living in Ireland.

map-of-irelandISLE is a celebration of that magical country. It doesn’t hurt my appreciation of the magazine that on my one trip to Ireland I, too, fell in love with the Emerald, well, Isle.

McGee isn’t any old émigré. She’s a well-regarded, successful editor on this side of the pond. She has equal measures of visual, styling and writing abilities in addition to a nose for what people want to see and know. ISLE–and what inspires it–is her palette and she’s a Vuillard [Jean-Édouard Vuillard is one of my favorite artists].

Her columns range from “Product Isle” and “Blog Isle” to “News Isle.” I was always covetous of the products McGee chose for House Beautiful Magazine and “Product Isle” doesn’t disappoint. My favorite: Jenny Walsh’s turquoise Cuckoo Clock.

There are surprises among the blogs she highlights: One is written by a Mexican cook in Ireland.



If you need a visual vacation, visit her coverage and photos of Inch House Country House and Restaurant-it’s actually in North Tipperary-or the seaside town of Dunfanaghy. Please don’t ask me to pronounce it but I’d love to go. As a craft lover I was intrigued to read about the 10 studios in Ceardlann an Spideal.

What about you: Have you been nurturing a new business or product idea? If you are bursting with an idea will you launch regardless of the economy? I can’t tell you how the iPhone 5 works but think that the first issue of ISLE is a keeper-don’t you?  


9 Responses to “Service of Launches”

  1. Martha Takayama Said:

    What a delightful analysis of the possibilities of positive thinking.

    It would seem that a launch for Apple is above something with an existence of its own, beyond everyday economic ups and down. Genius and ingenuity certainly are part of its strength. Seductive powers over the consumer market seem unbeatable.

    However, the launch of “Isle” seems to be a an incredibly optimistic and very engaging, but nevertheless high risk venture. The product sounds very appealing with a flair for the visual and the written word. However, it still seems to require serious financial resources to start and risk continuing a luxury oriented publication, aimed at a fairly narrow niche market. even, if it is online.

    At least at this specific moment in time other subject matter, even within the world of luxury magazines, might be draw more be more newsworthy or draw more reader interest.

  2. Lisa McGee Said:

    Dear Jeanne – Thank you so much for the wonderful mention in your most esteemed blog!! I’m glad ISLE has been such an inspiration for you. Thank you for sharing us with your readers.

    All my best, Lisa

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I am obviously not involved with the financial side of ISLE, but think that:

    1) the money saved by not having to print is huge and makes this stunner possible

    2) tablets are making online magazines increasingly viable

    3) Lisa is also an excellent business woman–and she has crucial contacts not only in Ireland but around the world who will support her

    4) I’ve noticed that niche magazines–and ISLE is not niche for Ireland though it would be considered so here–do very well in comparison to national ones.

    5) I don’t know what other magazines there are like this in Ireland. A smart publisher with deep pockets will grab this and pay a fortune for it.

  4. Lucrezia Said:

    The IPhone-5 disappointment is just one more example of why there are no guarantees. Some of this is my fault since I’ll be damned before I stand on line for one minute – let alone one day just to buy a trendy gadget. Multiply me by several million, and voila, a flop! In short it’s impossible to judge just what will and won’t fly. It’s also possible the IPhones 1 – 5 have become boring and the public seeks more excitement. What’s deplorable is that one toy has such power as to affect the stock market.

    Alas, no comment about what looks like a fun “zine.” I’m just too oversubscribed with the paper stuff to be looking for more of the same on line.

  5. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I, too, feel overwhelmed with all that I try to keep up with and fail miserably.

    If I commuted on the train—and with gas prices $4.15/gallon more and more people are or will be—and with unemployment what it continues to be, there are people with time to explore new magazines. I walk to work and haven’t mastered reading and walking as some try to do.

    A quick look at ISLE and Lisa will have followers and supporters–I’m convinced.

    As for waiting for ages to pay lots of money for a gizmo that, like a directory, is almost out of date the day you own it—faghedaboudit, though I was considering buying a second hand one that someone owned for a second.

    One radio personality was complaining that the charges he incurs on his earlier version of iPhone seem to inch up, $15 here, $15 there. I don’t know if that has more to do with the phone company he uses or if there are also monthly charges paid to Apple.

    Like you, I can’t imagine waiting in line these days—time’s too precious. On the other hand, I used to wait in line for over an hour to see a movie in the freezing cold. I suppose what’s a line for one is standard waiting time to others.

  6. Horace Peabody Said:

    I found your contrast of the launch of the latest electronic gadget to the launch of ISLE unexpectedly moving and uplifting.

    The Apple launch must have been superbly designed and engineered by some of the top creative marketers on earth, supported by the massive financial resources of a hugely powerful company. It was obviously a huge success generating all sorts of “buzz” about the company, its stock, and its latest “cutting edge” product. That said, six months from now, no doubt it will be forgotten when Apple launches something else, which sells even more successfully, but for now, it’s this launch that is the talk of the town. They must be very happy.

    From the sound of it, however, with ISLE, Lisa McGee, whom I suspect must be one hugely creative woman working largely on her own without massive corporate backing, appears to have succeeded in launching not just another lump of plastic with circuits in it, but rather something special, unique, and with charm which will not only please our eyes, but also stimulate our imaginations, and hopefully happily jog our memories (at least mine).

    Hooray for Lisa! But hooray also for the technology, which enabled not just Apple to make its plastic lumps, but also made possible the vehicle Lisa uses to enchant us with her ideas!

  7. jeanne Byington Said:


    You wrote precisely what I was thinking, far more elegantly and succinctly. The launch of these two businesses was more than happenstance and underscores that there are at least two kinds of creativity and that we should not lose the one in favor of the other.

  8. Debby Brown Said:

    So nice to learn what Lisa McGee is doing! I tried to find ISLE on line with no success after “Google-ing” the title; even tried AOL search. Can you help? Would love to read it! Thanks. Debby

  9. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Click ISLE [in green] in this paragraph on the post and it links right to the magazine:

    “Back to last week’s launches: You may have missed the premier issue of ISLE, a striking online magazine founded by its editor, Lisa McGee, an American living in Ireland.”

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