Sunday, January 6, 2008

Dr. Steven R. Blackman >

Publisher of BA Metropolis Magazine

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Be certain that you are passionate about the business concept and focus an undying attention on the end-goal (vision). Persist and be prepared to work long hours. Also, a higher tolerance for risk (e.g., financial, career, etc.) is essential.

What did inspire you to start your business?
My “media mentor” and now business partner, John Kuhn III (Founder), had highly impressive experience in the publishing business and his enthusiasm was infectious. Also, I had a strong desire to work in Latin America and “scratch my entrepreneurial itch” for a long time.

How did you finance it?
At the beginning, the founding partners in our business (including myself) invested our own personal funds to get the Company off of the ground. Later, we invited friends and family to become shareholders, followed by higher-profile, more sophisticated investors.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
When encountering the inevitable bumps in the road, we have all continued to focus upon the end goal. If the entrepreneur is able to maintain this focus and rally others around the dream, anything is possible. Also, it is important to pre-plan when you will make critical “Go-No-Go” decisions. Fortunately, because of the success of our business, we were able to reflect and make thoughtful “Go” decisions with confidence.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Perhaps most new businesses find that seeking out and attracting outstanding talent is the biggest challenge. This was the case for us, particularly that we were founding a business outside of our native country. However, we have persisted over the years and have been able to hire team members that have taken us to whole new level.

If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
The toll that international business travel takes on us, particularly between North and South America, is challenging at times.

What was your childhood ambition?
Well, I certainly didn’t imagine that I would eventually have the title of “Publisher” on my CV. As a young child, I wanted to be paramedic working with the fire department.

Tell us about two entrepreneurs that you admire?
John Kuhn III, who is the CEO of CDS Media, would have to top my list.

Les Wexner who founded Limited Brands, Inc. has an outstanding story regarding his rise in the entrepreneurial world.

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Lunch works, however drinks after work are less disruptive for all parties, I have found.

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
Clearly, time away from friends and family is by far the biggest personal sacrifice. Starting up a new business from simply an idea (“aire”) demands that a tremendous number of work hours need to be put in – there is no way around it.

What is your favorite quote?
The harder I work, the luckier I get. (Thomas Jefferson)

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
In the media world, you must be at least a bit unconventional to be successful. It is expected and accepted.

Biggest mistake made?
I think that having an MBA under my belt would have been extremely beneficial in the role I played in starting up CDS Media, Inc.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Yes, I feel that I have capabilities as an innovator. However, I have found the most innovative ideas, at least at CDS Media, have come about as a result of a number of creative minds sharing their thoughts through lively brainstorming and debate.

BA Metropolis is a publication of Camino del Sur (CDS) Media, Inc. CDS is an international media firm with offices in Buenos Aires, Argentina, San Francisco, California and New York City. CDS Media, Inc. is currently in the process of establishing offices in Santiago, Chile and Montevideo, Uruguay. The company’s objective is to develop the FIRST CITY MEDIA NETWORK throughout Latin America. Execution of this objective has been well underway for three years. In September 2005, Buenos Aires Metropolis Magazine was successfully launched to establish the city lifestyle brand. Expansion throughout Latin America has begun with the launching of three additional titles: Punta Del Este Metropolis, Santiago Metropolis, and Montevideo Metropolis, in Q1/Q2 of this year as well expanding into additional markets with City Websites

Contact Dr. Steven Blackman at

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