Hello, I’m Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe - to-do app for teams. I write essays, books, work on projects and I podcast for you using #iPadOnly in #NoOffice as I believe that work is not a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. More…

Why I’m starting Remag? To reinvent digital mobile publishing!


It is a very exciting time for me. Very soon, together with my team we’re launching my second startup - Remag - to revolutionize digital mobile publishing. In this blog post I’ll try to explain why I’m doing this… and why now… and what it’s all about…

Why I’m starting Remag? To reinvent digital mobile publishing!

A short history lesson before we start: I set up my first consulting company back in 2003, I launched Nozbe in 2007 and I’ve been running it for more than 8 years now. To promote productivity in 2008 I launched Productive! Magazine as a semi-regular PDF digital magazine… which in 2013/2014 I re-launched as a regular mobile magazine with apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android. I started blogging in 2009. I love working on Nozbe and I love working on the magazine… and I have passion in me for both productivity and digital publishing… and out of this second passion Remag was born.

We, entrepreneurs, love scratching our own itch…

I wrote the first version of Nozbe because I needed to get organized. I had been using it for almost 2 years before I decided to stop being selfish and show it to other people. If Nozbe helped me, I thought, it must also be helpful to other folks, right? Well, it was and it still is… and it’s an amazing example of how by solving my own problem, I solved other people’s problems… and the rest, as they say, is history :-)

There was a reason Productive! Magazine was so irregular between 2008 and 2013…

I loved the idea of Productive! Magazine - doing interviews with people smarter than me, asking better productivity experts to write timeless articles for it… connecting with them, with the readers… and learning a lot in the process. I loved doing it… but I didn’t love publishing it. You see, to prepare a nicely-done, professional-looking magazine I’d have to hire a DTP guy who’d put the magazine together, send it back to me, I’d send them feedback… it took lots of time. It sometimes took up to a month after I had the content, to have it published as a PDF. Yes, an entire month! I knew this could be done better.

It’s all about mobile… simplicity… and ease

When I saw The Magazine by Marco Arment on the App Store, I had a “eureka” moment. I decided it was time to build a magazine app for the Productive! Magazine. I wanted to be able to put the content of the magazine to one simple Markdown text file which will then be compiled to a beautifully-looking magazine app for both the iOS and Android platforms. Thanks to this elegant solution, we could publish a new issue of our magazine as soon as we had the content ready! It was brilliant!

Email marketing? RSS? Facebook? How do you subscribe?

Then I thought… why don’t I build an additional magazine for my blog readers? I mean, why not give people an elegant way to subscribe to my own blog? And to the Nozbe blog? I talked to my blogging friends about this and they were also interested in publishing their own magazine-like apps… and this is how the idea for Remag was born.

Solving my own problem and keeping it to myself would be selfish…

Over the years, I’ve had many business ideas… but I didn’t want to lose focus off of Nozbe and I still don’t. I’ve been fighting this for quite a while now… again 2 years have passed since the original inception of the idea for Remag until now, when we’re ready to launch. On one hand I didn’t want to run a second business… but on the other I really felt I should give it a try. The thing is, every time I was talking about this idea, people got excited. And seeing how easily we’re publishing different language versions of Productive! Magazine they were asking for a similar solution for themselves.

Remag is not competing with traditional magazines…

One of my very good friends is running a very successful company called Presspad where they help traditional publishers go digital. Actually there are many companies that do that. Their idea is to help professional publishers sell their magazines on the App Store.

Remag is different. Remag is not for people who run magazines currently. Remag is for bloggers who always wanted to “go mobile” but couldn’t afford it or didn’t want additional hassle. Remag is for both professional and hobby bloggers who want to convert their blog to a magazine-like app in only a few minutes… and at a very affordable price. Remag’s apps will be free on the App Store for their readers. We’re in the same industry, but with a completely different product.

I’ll be a CEO of two companies for now :-)

Elon Musk is the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla. Steve Jobs was the CEO of Apple and Pixar. I’m by no means in the same league… and my companies are small, so I think I can be the CEO of Nozbe and Remag. I have a fantastic team running both of these companies and my job will be to lead them. Just yesterday a very well known Polish magazine - Brief - put me on place 17 of the list of 50 most creative people in business, so let’s live up to this :-)

I say I’m lucky with my job but soon I’ll be even more so, as I’ll have a fantastic, well-established company to run… together with a brand new one. I’ll have the best of both worlds - the excitement of growing a mature product to become the leader in the industry with the energy of starting something new. I can’t wait.

The future of digital mobile publishing starts now!

We’re about to launch Remag - we’re waiting only for Apple to approve our “Preview app” and I’ll post a video where I’ll show how any blogger can build their own mobile app in less than 3 minutes directly from their Wordpress blog. Stay tuned and wish me luck with my second venture!

Thursday, February 12, 2015 /why-remag/