How do entrepreneurs come up with a great business idea and find their first customers?    

Today’s guest is Phil O’Brien, founder and publisher of W42ST—a hyper-local lifestyle print magazine and media brand that connects readers to the New York City experience. 

Episode Highlights

  • 2:37 Back to Roots: Journalism first, entrepreneurialism second.
  • 4:05 Leaving Liverpool: Choosing connection and culture of scaling NYC startups.
  • 6:25 W42ST and Hell’s Kitchen: Why live there? Unique, different, and full of history.
  • 10:38 Melting Pot: Creative community composed of Stonewall, Broadway, and more.
  • 11:44 Photography Business: Communicating decision to exit and move on.
  • 17:27 Startup Entrepreneur: Strong will to give something a go on a hunch.
  • 20:50 Strategic Game Plan: Join the fight by finding a greenfield.
  • 21:40 People Like You: Real people, not celebrities on cover and content inside.
  • 22:44 Energy: Fun parts of being an entrepreneur and busy bee motivated by change.
  • 24:05 Print Platform: Sample the menu while delivering a dying breed in a digital world.
  • 28:41 Two Types of Customers: Reader and advertiser.
  • 32:12 First 100 Fans: Create content, invest money, and distribute to validate idea.
  • 33:30 Take-home and Open Rates: People get different things from different platforms.
  • 39:10 Lessons Learned: Highest growth and hub in community.
  • 44:03 Success: Have a smile on your face and surround yourself with people’s energy.
  • 44:28 Moments of Doubt: Fear and delusion of rejection. 
  • 45:25 Failures: Stupidity of navigating the river of cash. 
  • 47:31 Easy and Hard Parts: Reader’s delight to advertising sales.   

Links and Resources:

Phil O’Brien on LinkedIn



Gordon Ramsay’s Hell Kitchen

Stonewall History 

Getty Images

Ninth Avenue Food Festival NYC

Huck Finch

Life On Brand Webpage

Call us! 734.219.3827

DM on Instagram


Get a head's up on new podcast episodes and other cool stuff. We won't bother you unless we have something interesting of value to say. And we won't share your info with anyone else, because that's lame and we love you.

Oh yeah! You're part of the Life on Brand fam and we couldn't be more excited!