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8020, Publisher of JPG Mag, Shuts Down

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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, 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.

Related Post: Small Is the New Big.

10 Responses to “8020, Publisher of JPG Mag, Shuts Down”

  1. peggy gardner

    they haven’t shut down yet, I wish you wouldn’t jump the gun…this is how bad news gets started…they said they were, but they didn’t….and certainly they will keep on going, maybe with a new publisher or owner, but they DID NOT shut down.

  2. Trevor Wardin

    This is for those of you who want to be in a community to learn, share and be inspired (rather than for being published): a friend of mine invited me to a photography network which currently is in closed beta, but I can also sent invites to a limited number of people. They offer most of the features we have on JPG (minus print, of course) and some interesting equipment related stuff. From what I could see, it’s not so artsy but rather for the technically oriented. If you’re interested, just drop me a mail to

  3. Wow, that’s crazy. I didn’t even know this product existed — and I searched Google for the last 6 months, thinking I came up with the SAME IDEA.

    Good thing you posted this, or I would have probably jumped in that market myself.

    Probably would be a decent app for Facebook though.. Hmm…

  4. Matthew Maier

    I doubt that Derek’s departure had anything to do with 8020 or JPEG’s long-term prospects. We all know the advertising markets sucks right now, and will continue to decline for the immediate future, and trying to sell ad space in magazines is hard enough as it is currently (ask Time Warner, et al), much less in books with such a forward-looking thesis as JPEG or any of the other publications 8020 tried or was considering.


    • Matt

      I think it is a combination of both. More importantly, they never really explored the online ad model properly. I think it was a clever idea and that is why I took a shine to it. I personally think it was too ahead of its time. I think it should make a comeback.