As jarring as Brooklynites sporting period-perfect ’60s vintage clothing and iPhone earbuds, promising young tech startup founders seem oddly drawn to crumbling old media. The latest whippersnappers pulled in this direction are YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. The pair recently announced their next startup will be centered on … magazines?
Yes, indeed: Hurley, 34, and Chen, 33, may have ported old-fashioned television onto the web with YouTube, but their new venture Zeen reportedly seeks to reverse that process, taking web content in the direction of ink-on-paper glossies, according to comments summarized by The Next Web. Zeen’s tagline: ”Discover and create beautiful magazines.”
Granted, the magazines will be digital, but from what Hurley and Chen revealed, the format owes far more to Life than to Tumblr. While Google bet on blogs as the dominant online writing format, and Twitter is betting on microblogs, Zeen is a wager on publishing’s past.