8020, Publisher of JPG Mag, Shuts Down

issue6medJPG magazine, the flagship offering of San Francisco startup 8020 Publishing Inc., is shutting down. And so is the company. The subscribers were informed of the decision in an email earlier today. 8020 was co-founded by Technorati and BitTorrent alumni and backed by CNET founder Halsey Minor’s Minor Ventures.

We all deeply believe in everything JPG represents, but we just weren’t able to raise the money needed to keep JPG alive in these extraordinary economic times. We sought out buyers, spoke with numerous potential investors, and pitched several last-ditch creative efforts, all without success. As a result, jpgmag.com will shut down on Monday, January 5, 2009.

When they launched in September 2006 I was quite taken in by their crowd-sourcing model of creating content. “The idea behind 8020 is quite simple – take user-generated content, let the users select the very best and then build a high-quality print product. No editors necessary,” I how I described the company’s business model. Like SkinnyCorp, they were following a business model I initially labeled as iCompany (though people found the more nerdy “crowd-sourcing” more appealing.) 8020 launched another magazine, Everywhere, that used the same crowd-sourcing principles.

Sometime last year trouble hit 8020 Publishing, as Derek Powazek, the brains behind the company, quit, over what was later described as tension between him and Minor Ventures, the backers of the company. There was a big backlash against the magazine following Powazek’s exit. The company went on to shutter its Everywhere magazine, and many of the early employees left.

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