As the editors of Fortune well know, business is very serious business indeed to most of our readers. Whether we’re writing about the economy–as senior editor Rob Norton and his crew of researchers and writers do so expertly in this issue’s cover stories–or the latest make-or-break strategy from Silicon Valley, or how to rekindle your career after some colossal failure, we regard business with all due gravity. As we should. Clearly, that’s what most folks come to us for.
But isn’t something missing here? What about all the laughs most of us have at the office? What about the incredibly loony incidents and absurd posturing and ridiculous game playing we all witness in the daily rounds of meetings, negotiations, and conferences to which we, as business people, are sentenced? Where’s the fun of it all? The irony? The absurdity?
Well, ask no more. To the pages of Fortune comes all that and much else in the person of our latest contributor, columnist Stanley Bing. In this issue he inaugurates a column called While You Were Out (page 49), surely the least serious, least rigorous business coverage Fortune has ever attempted. Hey, we can all stand to lighten up a little.
Bing knows what business warriors are really thinking when they strap it on, because under his real name he holds down a day job as an executive for a large communications company (not Time Warner, owner of Fortune‘s publisher). You may be acquainted with him from his more than a decade of writing at Esquire magazine or from his book Crazy Bosses. If not, it won’t take long for you to feel as if you know him; he’s the closest thing there is to a standup executive.
This issue also premieres a new column by one of Fortune most familiar contributors, Marshall Loeb, a former managing editor of both this magazine and Money. Marshall is a grand master of journalism that helps readers improve their lives in important ways. In a regular column dubbed You Inc. (page 266), he will apply his justly praised advisory skills to a wide variety of personal topics, from investing to what to do when a headhunter calls.
And so Fortune presents two new columns: one practical and sober, one utterly useless but seductive. One from an old friend, one from a newcomer. We hope both will lure you time and again back into the pages of what we want to be the best business magazine you can find anywhere.