Red Herring (magazine)
August 29, 2005 cover of Red Herring magazine
Red Herring was a technology business magazine, which flourished during the dot com boom, with global distribution and bureaus in Bangalore, Beijing, and Paris. It also sponsored conferences designed to bring venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and technologists together. The magazine went into decline with the dot com crash, and ceased publication in 2003. It was relaunched in late 2004 under publisher Alex Vieux and editor-in-chief Joel Dreyfuss, but again ceased print publication in 2007, continuing publication in digital form until 2011. It continues to publish technology sector news. It is best known for its Red Herring 100 technology startup awards, and hosts several international conferences each year.
Red Herring was originally launched in May 1993 by Anthony B. Perkins, Christopher J. Alden, and Zachary A. Herlick out of the home of Alden's parents in Woodside, California. The first product of Flipside Communications Inc. (which was eventually renamed Red Herring Communications), the magazine was quickly popular with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and the Valley community of lawyers, accountants, bankers and the like who were part of the technology entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Although not launched as an Internet publication (the commercialization of the Internet was in its infancy in 1993), as one of the leading publications covering high-tech entrepreneurialism in Silicon Valley and beyond, it became a journal of record for the dot com boom. The founders sold stakes in the magazine to outside investors, but as the dot-com bust deepened, the magazine struggled, ceasing publication in 2003.
Later that year, Alex Vieux of Dasar acquired some of the company's assets. In September 2003, Vieux relaunched the Herring as a website with James Daly as Editor in Chief. The first official issue of the relaunched print publication was published in November, 2004.
 Corporate history
Perkins had previously founded Upside magazine with Rich Karlgaard (who later became publisher of Forbes). Alden and Herlick, friends since junior high school, had started a computer consulting company and taught computer science prior to partnering with Perkins.
Ron Conway, of Angel Investors, was an early adviser and board member.
 Dot-com era
Red Herring launched an event and an Internet division on the same day in May 1995 when Venture Market West premiered in Monterey, California, accompanied by the company's first web site. The Venture Market series (including West, East, South, and Europe) ran successfully until 2001 and were accompanied by other events, such as NDA, Venture, and Herring on Hollywood.
The Internet operation grew steadily and peaked in 2000 when it acquired Stockmaster.com.
Ziff Davis invested $2 million in Red Herring in 1997 for approximately 10% of the company, with Eric Hippeau, then CEO of ZD, joining the Red Herring board. Scott Briggs, a former president of Ziff Davis, joined the board in 1997 as well. Broadview Capital Partners invested $25 million into Red Herring in 2000, with Steven Brooks and Stephen Bachman joining the board.
Red Herring was joined in the late 1990s by competitors such as IDG's The Industry Standard, Imagine Media's Business 2.0, and Time Warner's eCompany Now. It was also compared to Wired magazine and Fast Company.
Hilary Schneider was hired by the board as CEO in late 2000 and succeeded Alden (who had succeeded Perkins as CEO).
Red Herring's revenues reached nearly $100 million with a staff around 350, but contracted in 2001 and 2002. BCP invested in several additional rounds to help stabilize the organization, which went through several rounds of layoffs. Through these financings BCP obtained control of Red Herring and in 2002 put the company through an assignment for the benefit of creditors (ABC), which is a California state process similar to a federal bankruptcy. RHC Media, owned by BCP, bought the Red Herring assets out of ABC and kept the business operating.
After trying unsuccessfully to sell the company, RHC Media decided in early 2003 to cease operations and sell the company's assets. The subscription obligation was sold to Time Inc. and the Red Herring brand, URL, and Intellectual Property (such as back issues and online content) were sold to Alex Vieux of DASAR.
 Post dot-com relaunch
Shortly after the purchase by DASAR, the new owners brought in a team new editors with experience at competitors of the former print magazine. Red Herring re-launched as a web site in the fall of 2003.
Red Herring produced several test issues of the print magazine in the fall of 2004 and launched as a full-fledged weekly magazine in January 2005. The print edition came to an end in 2007, but a digital edition continued, available via the company's web site.
In recent years, Red Herring has been focused in actively promoting the events and awards for new innovative startups, venture capital scene and these events are branded as Red Herring Global 100, Red Herring Europe 100, Red Herring Asia 100.