Oscar Winner Ben Affleck Graces Cover of Darwin Magazine

FRAMINGHAM, MA – AUGUST 1, 2000 – The second issue of Darwin magazine (cover date August/September) features Oscar winner, actor and screenwriter Ben Affleck on its cover. Unbeknownst to many, Affleck is a life-long technology aficionado. In the issue, the star tells Darwin Editorial Contributor Art Jahnke about his early experience with computers and how technology should (and will) impact entertainment industries. Complete issue content is available at www.darwinmag.com.

 

According to Darwin Editor in Chief, Lew McCreary, "We thought Affleck would make an interesting interview for Darwin readers because, despite being neither a stereotypical techie nor a businessperson, he is a technology enthusiast with a unique view of how technology can transform the economics of an industry while improving customer experiences."

Affleck's chief recommendation to the recording industry is to adopt a subscription model for selling music. "Everyone [in the music business] is all freaked about Napster now," says Affleck. "But the music industry would make the same amount of money if they just said, 'OK, look. You 17 million people who are buying CDs anyway, you give us $200 as an annual subscription fee, and you can have all the music you want.' What will end up happening is that people will use and download and listen to roughly the same amount of music that they already do — with the exception of a few junkies. The music companies would be making the same $3.4 billion, but they'd actually turn a bigger profit because their distribution costs would be lower, and all their other costs (printing the CDs and the whole thing) would also be reduced."

Darwin magazine, which launched June 1, will go monthly in February 2001. In addition to the Affleck piece, the August/September issue covers e-mail monitoring, competitors forming coalitions within their industry and the governor of Maine's take on technology and the digital divide:

Is Big Brother a Big Bother? E-mail monitoring may not be the path to take in managing employee productivity. Technology advances in this area actually create setbacks in productivity, as workers become demoralized and less trusting of their employers. According to Daryl Koehn, director of the Center for Business Ethics at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, "Businesses must decide whether they are going to manage to the 98.5 percent of employees, vendors and customers who are decent, or to the very small percentage who are running scams of one sort or another." Jeffrey Seglin reports.

Evolving Markets: Lions and Tigers and Bears (and the FTC): The big three automakers are joining forces and creating a united front for dealing and interacting with their suppliers. In addition to increased bargaining power on prices, the goal of the partnership is to standardize communication and improve process efficiency. However, such partnerships, also becoming popular in the airline, retailer and poultry industries, are raising eyebrows at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Historically, the FTC has only had to worry about sellers teaming and cooperating to keep prices artificially high. But buyers teaming and cooperating can also be bad for competition if buyers force prices too low. Suppliers would lose their incentives for innovating and improving quality or, worse, choose to exit the market and create a shortage in supplies. Sari Kalin reports.

Vacationland Gets Down to Business: Maine's independent Governor, Angus King, is fighting to make Maine more technology-friendly and attractive to technology companies. King transformed the 10,000 person-staffed state government from an e-mail-less operation with 24 different word processing programs to a more efficient e-mail-connected organization that uses technology to be more efficient, including the implementation of an Internet tax-filing system. His most innovative strategy to date is a stab at closing the digital divide with the proposal that every seventh grader in the state be given a laptop computer to keep. "It would begin the elimination of the division between the technological haves and have-nots," says King, adding, "The only way to jump ahead is to do something bold and dramatic. I don't have the slightest doubt that what I'm proposing is going to happen all over the country. The only real question is whether Maine is going to be first or 35th." Daintry Duffy reports.

Darwin is published by CXO Media, Inc. (formerly CIO Communications, Inc.). CXO Media serves CIOs, CEOs, CFOs, COOs and other corporate officers who use technology to thrive and prosper in this new era of business. The company strives to enhance partnerships between CIOs and CXOs, as well as create opportunities for IT and consumer marketers to reach them. In addition to publishing Darwin magazine, CXO Media produces CIO magazine, the www.darwinmagazine.com and www.cio.com web sites, as well as Darwin and CIO Executive Programs, a series of conferences that provide educational and networking opportunities for corporate and government leaders.

CXO Media, Inc. is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company. IDG publishes more than 300 computer magazines and newspapers and 4,000 book titles and offers online users the largest network of technology-specific sites around the world through IDG.net (http://www.idg.net), which comprises more than 270 targeted Web sites in 70 countries. IDG is also a leading producer of 168 computer-related expositions worldwide, and provides IT market analysis through 50 offices in 43 countries worldwide. Company information is available at http://www.idg.com.