Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday Musings--Designer Gowns and Journalists

Two good things in the NYT today. Both are upstarts that have thumbed their noses at this economy. The first that caught my eye is a company that is Netflixing (is that a word?) designer gowns. Called 'Rent the Runway', it intrigued me because, first of all, I am inherently frugal (some would call it cheap) and, second of all, because I've always been a tad envious of women who can carry off wearing one--both the expense and the savvy of it. The rental prices range from $50 to $200 plus $5 for insurance. With the holidays coming into view, I just might try this. Maybe once I wore a designer gown to a party that would be enough--I would be disappointed enough in the results that I would shift my envy (seems like the grass is always greener somewhere). I guess my only concern is whether the thing ( you have 4 days to keep it) fits.

So the second upstart is in Texas--called the Texas Tribune. It is an online news organization that has set its sights on monitoring news and policy coming from Austin. The non-profit (what news organization makes one anymore?) has already won financial support to the tune of 3.7 million dollars and is well on its way to making a fresh sustainable mark in the decimated world of journalism.

“I began to see journalism as a public good, like national defense or clean air,” said John Thornton, an Austin venture capitalist who has invested $1 million of the $3.7 already put up for the project. The theory is to pay good journalists well for serving their readers with healthy, clean portions of news.

Not too shabby.

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