It was early October 2003. The internet bubble had just burst. The ink on Techfocus Media’s incorporation papers was barely dry, and the virtual printing presses were fired up and ready to roll. We were about to send Volume 1, Issue #1 of FPGA Journal. We had no sponsorship, no name recognition, no office, 2 people, 2 laptops, a couple thousand trusting subscribers, and no cash flow. Correction: No positive cash flow.
We did have an idea, though. The idea was to create a new kind of technology-oriented trade publication for electronic engineers that was independent, intelligent, informative, useful, and fun.
In the years since, a lot of nerdiness has passed through those servers of ours. We are now Electronic Engineering Journal – with hundreds of thousands of readers worldwide. We still have a small but dedicated staff, a fantastic audience, a love of all things electronic, and the same values we started with all those years ago. We have survived the startup 1-year curse, the challenge of one of history’s biggest economic downturns, and a robust field of competitive publications. We have grown every year and don’t plan on stopping any time soon. While we haven’t managed Moore’s-Law exponential growth like you all have, we’re doing pretty well for a technical publication.
With EE Journal, we have combined all our legacy publications – FPGA Journal, Embedded Technology Journal, and IC Design and Verification Journal – plus a host of new design-related content on topics like analog, PCB, EDA, electromechanical, power, and test and measurement – plus new market-related channels like communications, computers, consumer electronics, green tech, industrial & automotive, and military/aerospace into one comprehensive site. The breadth and depth of industry coverage and analysis we now provide, we believe, is second to none.
In line with our mission to be your favorite stop in your engineering work day – we’ve added fun new and nerdy regular features like “fresh bytes” – our fun feed of fascinating factoids and techy tidbits, and “Fish Fry” – our Friday weekly podcast featuring Amelia Dalton. Your response to these new columns and features has been spectacular, and we plan to keep them coming. We’ve got even more cool features in the pipe as well – so stay tuned.
Given the explosion in social media, we built EE Journal from the ground up with integrated web 2.0 capability. Does that sound like it came from Marketing? You’re right. Good catch. We’ll keep them under control from here on out. However, we are happy with the social media integration into the site and the interaction you’re now able to have with us and with each other through our forums and comment sections. As an editor, it’s fun when several thousand engineers point out that you’ve blown it on the units in a technical article, or to have a few loyal fans point out that “Hans Solo” is not the correct name for a Star Wars character – prompting the question “Do you have any actual nerds working there at EE Journal?” (We do, in fact. Real ones!) Keep those comments and discussions coming! You can start with the comment box at the bottom of this page.
Our editorial staff has grown in both quantity and quality. We now have Jim Turley, Bryon Moyer, Dick Selwood, Amelia Dalton, Laura Domela and me – all working tirelessly in our state-of-the-art, super-secret, ultra-secure media control center – buried deep inside a mountain in the Oregon Cascades – to bring you the latest and best in coverage of the engineering side of the electronics industry. Did that last part sound like partly a lie? It was. We don’t actually have a media control center. In fact, we don’t even have a corporate office. Techfocus Media is a 100% virtual company – with staff all over the US (and even the UK, thanks to Dick Selwood) working from wherever they are. We’re one of the most experienced companies around in virtual operation, its efficiencies, and its challenges. Every employee telecommutes every day – saving countless hours in traffic and dramatically reducing our collective carbon footprint. All our business systems are cloud-based – and always have been. We’re experienced with just about every remote productivity technology out there, and we regularly take full advantage of the good ones.
It has, however, been a tough time for our industry these past few years. The traditional trade press has been decimated with the decline of print media, and once proud publications have been reduced to mere shadows of their former glory, struggling to find a way to make a business in the new era of electronic distribution. Editorial staffs have been slashed, content has been cut, and real news and analysis has been replaced by vendor-contributed articles and cut-and-paste rewritten press releases across a broad section of the electronics industry trade press. We promise never to go down that road to mediocrity. We pledge to you – our loyal audience – that we will be loyal to you in return – maintaining a traditional sense of editorial integrity, dignity, accuracy, and fairness in this troubled era of pay-for-play, sponsored editorial, and unresearched blogging. Even though advertising sponsors pay the bills (so you can get our publication for free), we will continue to cover the news and trends without regard to advertising spend – or lack thereof.
If you like our brand of journalism, there are things you can do to help and to assure that we stay around for years to come. First, tell your friends and colleagues about us. Forward our articles and newsletters if you like them. Comment on our pages and participate in our forums. Patronize our sponsors. With your support, we can only grow stronger.
Finally – to those who have been with us from the beginning – thanks for 1000 wonderful years. For those that just joined us within the last year, thanks for making the 1000th year even better than the 111th one. We are here for you!