Can Wired Get Wired Again?

To make money, the new-media company may have to get less hip

When Wired Ventures Inc. prepared to go public last year, even the most mundane details of the deal had to reflect the distinctiveness of the hip, San Francisco-based media company. The prospectus, usually a formulaic, dry document, could not be the typical black type on chintzy white paper. No, company executives demanded, their prospectus had to be as snazzy as Wired, the glitzy publication launched in 1993 that chronicles the issues and the spirit of the cybergeneration. Wired's prospectus featured bright colors, modern type, and odd page sizes.

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