Month: July 2017


"For a cautionary tale, everyone cites Paul Bradley Carr." - THE SUNDAY TIMES


The Birth of NSFWCORP, Part VIII: Jamses

Matthew Dupuy, Andrew Mueller, James Kotecki, Leo Whetter: The two weeks around July 17th 2012 saw all of them make their NSFWCORP debut. Some, like James Kotecki, would become regular fixtures on the site. Others… wouldn’t.

I obviously had a good feeling about James, who became “famous” as a college student when he conducted interviews with presidential candidates in his dorm room and by 2012 was hosting a video show on The Daily (Murdoch’s ill-fated tablet tabloid) — because I invited him to come on the July 16th episode of NSFWLIVE to talk about his first piece, “Quit Like Mitt”…

Dear Readers,

First of all, thank you for welcoming me so warmly to the Not Safe For Work Corporation.

Secondly, I hereby announce my future retirement from the Not Safe for Work Corporation, effective today. Be assured I will continue to write articles for this publication and to otherwise discharge all of my duties as a proud member of the NSFWCORP family. But if anyone asks, I was never really here. Furthermore: who are you people? I’ve never seen you before (or since) in my life.

If the above sounds disingenuous at best, fraudulent at worst, please know that it isn’t.



Read More...

The Birth of NSFWCORP, Part VII: July 9th 2012 – 16th 2012

July 9th 2012 – 16th 2012

539.

That’s now many people signed up for paid NSFWCORP subscribers in the first week we were open for business. Given more than 2000 people already had six month sponsored subscriptions that number delighted us. 500 people were willing to trust $3 a month (we had no annual plan) to our weird little comedy magazine. 10% of the 5000 subscribers we needed to be profitable.

It’s impossible to say how much of that initial success was down to the official arrival of Leigh Cowart as a NSFWCORP contributor a few days ealier. Leigh’s first piece was entitled “New Study Finds Breast Size Linked To Bounciness…”

Their findings, which surely must have come as a shock to all involved, concluded that the motion of bare breasts increased significantly with regard to cup size. That’s right, big ole’ ripe-for-motorboatin’ honkers bounce more than those naughty little alt grrrl tits you can fit in your mouth. The study also found that science can effectively predict just how bouncy that naked titty would be based on the overall size of said bosom.

In a tragic twist, this comes more than a decade too late for the seminal bouncy boobie television drama, “Baywatch,” which would have undoubtedly benefited from the knowledge that larger and totally bare mammaries would have more effectively created the dynamic breast kinematics that served as the riveting plot line of each and every episode.…

Read More...


The Birth of NSFWCORP, Part VI: It’s Alive!

The pilot issue, published in May 2012, featured contributions from Mark Ames (“You Can’t Handle The Truth”), Jason Heller (“On A Raft With Taft”), Patrick Sauer (“This Is Why They Hate Us”), Sarah Bee and James Aylett (“That We Know Of”) and Nathan Pensky (“Walt Disney’s Head”), illustrations by Molly Crabapple, Hallie Bateman, PJ Perez, Molly Choma and the first ever appearance in NSFWCORP by Brad Jonas…

Most of the articles aren’t online, annoyingly, but there’s an ebook of the whole thing on Amazon.

The response to the pilot was, thank goodness, very positive – both from readers and investors. Mike Arrington sent a nice email (“this is awesome”), as did Tony Hsieh.

And yet. Amongst the positive feedback was plenty of helpful, critical stuff: Pleas for more jokes, an easier to use interface, that kind of stuff. The joke feedback struck a particular chord with me: The writing in the pilot was tremendous, but the overall package still lacked – something. There was nothing that made me think holy shit, I can’t believe I just read that in the way that reading old issues of Spy or Private Eye still does. To be clear: This was entirely on me.…

Read More...


The Birth of NSFWCORP, Part V: Pilot

The final writer for the pilot was Nathan Pensky – Pando’s managing editor – who pitched an amazing idea about Walt Disney’s frozen head. I also commissioned an illustration from Pando’s art director Hallie Bateman. We’d settled on the final name – NSFWCORP – and reverted back to Molly’s absolutely perfect logo…

Publication date of the pilot was set for the second week of May 2012.

The only thing missing was… readers. We already had a few thousand email addresses submitted through our holding page but no real way to convert them to paid subscribers. Given we didn’t know if we’d ever actually publish an issue one, let alone any more issues after that, I wasn’t willing to actually take money from the pilot readers but nor did I want to give the issue away for free and set that the precedent that NSFWCORP was free. So instead I hatched an (ahem) brilliant idea to get companies to pay $2k each to sponsor free subscriptions for several hundred people each.

By pilot day we had enough paid sponsors – Launch Rocket, Cloud Flare and some others I can’t  remember – to allow 2,000 readers through the door.

There were just one thing left to do before hitting publish on the pilot: Make sure we could actually publish this thing.…

Read More...


The Birth of NSFWCORP, Part IV: Mark

The second week of April 2012 will go down in history as the week we acquired two things that would stick with NSFWCORP to the very end (and beyond). The first was a pool table, which I boughtfor $500 from a guy who was moving out from the Odgen and spent a week trying to figure out how to move nine floors to apartment 804.

The second thing we acquired that week was Mark Ames. Here’s how Mark remembers that week…

Paul: I want to go back to when you first heard about Not Safe For Work. I think, certainly, I first got introduced to you by Richard Nash, who had published you before.

Mark: Richard Nash published my last book, Going Postal, which is about office and school rage massacres, which is sort of a new American phenomena, a very fun subject. I love Richard because, not only was he a fantastic editor, but I first started on that project in 2001. I moved to Kentucky, I left Russia for the while. I started on it because I thought it was a huge thing, Columbine and all this stuff was a big deal, these rage massacres.

My editor at Grove Atlantic liked the idea a lot.…

Read More...


The Birth of NSFWCORP, Part III: October 2011 – April 2012: Laying the groundwork

Between my meeting with Tony on 18th September 2011, and the arrival of the first $125k checks around October 11th, I had already been hard at work trying to decide what NSFWCORP would actually be. The original pitch seemed so simple – the Economist with jokes. Because it was simple.

It’s faintly ridiculous, then, to look back at my notes for the months of October 2011 and April 2010 and recall how many times I pivoted and re-pivoted the idea before arriving back where I’d already started. Even now I feel terrible how many brainstorming sessions I forced Molly to ensure.

One thing I decided early is the publication would be tablet and e-reader only. No web edition and certainly no print. I’d been watching closely the progress of the Daily – News Corp’s attempt at a tabloid newspaper – and decided that, while their execution was shockingly bad, the idea of a tablet-only publication had merit.

On October 14th I wrote a post on my personal blog, explaining all the other things I’d decided…

In a nut, Not Safe For Work Corporation is a publishing company. In a slightly bigger nut, it’s a magazine publishing company.



Read More...

Copyright Paul Bradley Carr 2021

X