Jay King, above, was the man who made it possible for us to launch the Czech v ersion, a noble effort which shook up the Czech publishing scene, yet faced difficulty with the Czech distribution system. To him we say, thanks for helping us grow.
King, legendary for antics in his trademark red SUV with Alabama plates, instigated, motivated and funded the Czech version of Think, a for-sale magazine catering to hip young Czech speaking locals.
With photographers such as David Surowiecki, Hugo Tillmanm, Sioux Nesi, and stylists such as Linda Larosa and Angela Aaron, the Czech version was the most avant-garde fashion magazine to ever hit the Czech market.
Unfortunately, the launch was a struggle in and of itself, as we naively dealt with thieving printers and the menacingly-named pan Rizek (Mr. Steak), who promised to distribute 20,000 issues and sell at least 10,000.
He then failed to do so, leaving most in the warehouse, thus undermining the launch of the first issue.
We later found out that this was intentional as he pursued a strategy of acquiring titles by choking them at the distribution level. Miraculously, our lawyer got our money back in two months. The mindset of certain distributors was likewise unhelpful, two of whom refused to distribute Issue 17 due to a men's underwear fashion shoot, saying "We don't sell gay magazines".
Placement in kiosks, costly yet vital, had to be negotiated with the owners of the kiosks themselves. Yet despite these and other difficulties, we managed to sell tens of thousands of copies.
The thick, 80+ page glossies were heavy on fashion and style, so heavy in fact that a major fashion magazine publishing house (who shall not be named) notified their staff and freelancers that they would not be retained if they did work for Think.
All continued to publish in Think under assumed names. And of course, there was the regular confusing dose of articles on UFOs, drugs, and conspiracies that makes Think so loveable in any language.
However, the overhead of creating the magazine, combined with the market's resistance to buying a Czech version of a magazine freely available in English ultimately made it a costly experiment which we stopped after 4 issues. After a brief hiatus, we re-launched our efforts under the banner of Hele, then switched the focus of our all Czech media to Think TV.