A Brief History

It's late 2005, the Star Ledger wins a Pulitzer, Spain gives autonomy to Catalonia, and we're all trying to figure out what a Hollaback Girl is. Amidst the confusion, Mark Bisnow stumbles upon an idea so obvious that even Mark Bisnow could stumble upon it: Local business is fun. Sounds like blasphemy, but Mark realizes that the people within local business communities are as interested in their fellow industry players, partners and friends as they are in the industry itself. So, Mark sets out to test his theory with a DC commercial real estate e-pub: personality-oriented, fun, mercifully short*, yet informative. Mark hires the cheapest labor he can find: his son Elliott. The University of Wisconsin student sells ad space for the company (while wearing out shoes and phone receivers) and builds a base of readers who grow hooked on Bisnow's wit and ability to foster relationships among industry professionals in the midst of their boring competitors. Mark and Elliott decide that there aren't enough Bisnows to grow while being a family-run business. They hire a young, brash future college grad named Aram Taghavi plus a publishing guru/lover of preppy clothing, Doug Anderson. The four of them work out of Mark's basement to refine Bisnow's brand while plotting a backup business: bird-house production factories, which is quickly ditched as it seems too advanced. Bisnow explodes and Mark decides to apply Bisnow's brand to the offline world: events. Advertisers express wanting to attend commercial real estate events that don't make them want to jump off a bridge. And so, Bisnow (almost) Never Boring was born. *(Early editions of the newsletters had a different definition of mercifully short.)

Bisnow in Time

1455 Gutenberg Bible
1605 World's first newspaper published
1851 New York Times first publication
1986-2001 99% of Bisnowployees take their first step
2004 Mark Bisnow falls bass-ackwards into his first decent idea (publishing)
2005 1st Bisnow e-pub sent to 2 subscribers - 3 people unsubscribe
2006 Elliott Bisnow joins Bisnow, sells ads, suggests pictures, wears more fashionable clothes than Mark
2006 Justin Timberlake releases Sexy Back - Mark thinks it's coincidental, Elliott knows it's not
2007 First Bisnow event
2007 Future humor editor Curtis Raye graduates college - people are unimpressed
2008 Bisnow launches its first publication outside of DC, Real Estate Bisnow New York
2009 Ryan Begelman joins Bisnow as COO; grows ill-advised mustache
2009 Bisnow goes national; Ryan (reluctantly) shaves mustache
2012 Bisnow reaches 500,000 subscribers
2030 Real Estate Bisnow Mars launches - literally

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