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Now we are 10: Vincent Heeringa’s 10th anniversary editorial

This is Idealog’s 60th edition. That makes us 10 years old.

A decade in publishing is an achievement worth celebrating and we’ll certainly stop to smell the rosé. 

There’s lots to be proud of. We were the first to bring to the mainstream such cool people as Sir Ray Avery (Medicine Mondiale), Rod Drury (Xero), Peter Beck (Rocket Lab), Tanya Thompson (Misery) and Vaughan Rowsell (Vend). We’ve poked the borax at plenty of sub-par performers, often before they became familiar targets: Callaghan Innovation (for cutting back on scientists); the architectural industry (for leaky homes); and the dairy industry (for its pollution). I recall once getting an angry letter from Lion Breweries about our story “Who killed Steinlager?” only to be told later that photocopies had been passed around the office and that it formed part of the rationale behind the launch of Steinlager Pure. They even advertised. 

We’ve developed a cutting-edge website, social media presence and we’ve run popular events, believing a print magazine
is not enough in a multichannel world.

I’m incredibly proud of our writers and photographers, that we survived the GFC and that we’ve maintained and renewed our partnership with AUT, an organisation that’s similarly defied the odds to find its place in the world.

But a successful publishing business is only a means to an end. The big hairy audacious goal was, and still is, to shift New Zealand from low-margin industries such as dairy, tourism and forestry to high margin industries: software, design, high-tech manufacturing and professional services. In that regard, I must admit to a sense of failure. 

We see pockets of excellence and this magazine is chock full of them. But as I write, the airwaves are full of discussions about milk powder prices, El Nino growing conditions and Auckland property prices. Our economy has become more reliant, not less, on the same old, same old.

You can’t shift an economy in just 10 years. But let’s not forget what can be done. The rise of global giants like Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Airbnb occurred in the last decade. As have drones, iPhones and the Internet of Things. Ten years ago we didn’t even know what ISIS was and we thought Xero was a spelling mistake. The world is changing faster than we acknowledge. Despite our much vaunted creativity and resourcefulness, New Zealand simply does not commercialise its ideas
at a scale and speed that makes us competitive.

If there is a vision for the next 10 years, it’s that we never see a cow on the cover again.

Vincent Heeringa, Publisher


Also in the issue:

  • We ask 10 of Idealog’s best to reflect on what’s changed in the last 10 years. And what still needs to change. Sam Morgan, Geoff Ross, Anna Guenther, Vaughan Rowsell, Jeremy Moon, Peri Drysdale – and more*
  • We pick the top six food trends changing the way the world is eating – and New Zealand companies are exporting
  • Aviation nut Vaughn Davis test-drives a helicopter simulator made from parts salvaged from a Japanese aircraft written off in the 2011 tsunami
  • We feature the year’s best innovation (New Zealand Innovators Awards 2015) and best design (best of the Best Awards)
  • There’s an excerpt from a new graphic biography of Steve Jobs, (find out everything you ever wanted to know about Jobs’ life without having to read other worthy biographies)
  • And there are columns on why bad moods at work can make you more productive, how creating myths around our ingenuity is stopping us being truly ingenious, and the unintended consequences of Lord of the Rings

For all these stories subscribe here, or head out to one of these fabulous retailers and ask for the latest copy of Idealog. If you can’t find us, email [email protected], or call 0800 782 347

*Dodgy counting alert: Actually we feature 11 fabulous New Zealanders. We asked 11, because we were worried someone might not want to contribute. But everyone did.

Vincent won many awards as a journalist with Metro magazine and The Independent Business Weekly and was twice named Editor of the Year by the Magazine Publishers’ Association for his role in founding Unlimited magazine. In 2004 he co-founded HB Media, which was later to become Tangible Media, and is a publisher at AUT Media, the publishing division of AUT University.

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