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Bill Fishkin

29, editor-in-chief and publisher of <i>Synthesis Weekly</i> in Chico, California

Description: a music, pop culture and entertainment publication serving the Northern California area

Start-up: Less than $2,500

Sales: 40 percent growth in 2000; projecting 15 percent growth in 2001

Tuning up: In college, Fishkin realized the local market lacked entertainment publications and decided to start a paper chronicling the music scene around Chico. "People thought I was insane. We were working seven days a week, putting out 10,000 copies weekly." He put everything together in a spare bedroom in his apartment, using a run-down computer, a dot matrix printer and a credit card with a $2,500 limit.

Flip side: Fishkin's other company, Synthesis Network Inc., recently licensed content from rock magazine BAM, making it one of the Net's largest music presences. Fishkin is also planning a monthly publication distributed throughout the West Coast.

Top of the charts: After seven years in publishing, Fishkin is striving for bigger and better. "We've always been fighting an uphill battle, because we aren't in L.A. or New York," he says. "People are always like, 'Where the hell is Chico?' I didn't have time to fail. Sleeping and failure were two things I didn't really think about."

For the love of it: "I've always been the music geek listening to stuff six or nine months before it gets big. And I was obsessed with media and magazines . . . anything in print. So this is really what I want to do. How cool is that?"

Contact Source

This story appears in the November 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »