Loveland publisher grosses $ 35 mil. in ’98
LOVELAND — Dave Duke accepts the Bravo! Entrepreneur Award as recognition of his company’s successes, rather than his individual achievements.
“Business success and company success is not about any one individual,” Duke said.
Duke is founder, president and CEO of Duke Communications International, which publishes magazines, books and electronic media in the high-tech business arena. Today, Duke Communications employs 235 at its Loveland headquarters, elsewhere in Colorado and around the nation. Clients are leading high-tech firms, including IBM and Microsoft. Revenues in 1998 were $35 million; net income was $1.5 million.
When it comes to accepting recognition, Duke repeatedly shifts the focus from himself back to his company.
“I feel terrific that Duke Communications has been selected,” Duke said of the award. “Most of what I’m proud of is related to our people and what they’ve accomplished.”
Duke ties business success to hiring talented people and allowing them opportunities to succeed by focusing internally on a healthy company culture and externally on solid products. Attending to those things positions the company to be entrepreneurial, he said.
Duke Communications got its start in 1982, when Duke launched a newsletter for IBM midrange computer users. A desire to help people perform better in their jobs by using their computer systems more effectively powered Duke’s entry into publishing.
Since then, the Loveland entrepreneur has grown his company to international stature despite turbulent state, national and global economies and the peaks and valleys of a high-tech industry marked by dramatic change.
This award winner is no newcomer to the spotlight. Duke’s foundation publication, now titled News/400, has garnered more than 50 awards for editorial and design excellence.
Duke Communication’s publishing division, 29th Street Press, also has reaped honors. Several 29th Street Press titles have received Awards of Excellence and Awards of Merit from the Society for Technical Communications. News/400, formerly titled News 34/38, has evolved along with the systems its readers use. Now an established international magazine, its English edition has a paid, international circulation of about 30,000.
News/400 also appears in several foreign language editions: Spanish, French, Italian and German. To expand on its mission of informing readers, News/400 presents seminars and conferences for technical professionals who use AS/400 systems.
In 1995, Duke Communications launched two more monthly magazines: Business Finance and Windows NT Magazine.
Business Finance targets hands-on financial managers, covering new tools, technologies and other information geared to helping readers achieve success. Business Finance has a paid circulation of about 50,000.
Windows NT Magazine targets Windows NT computer professionals with coverage geared to implementers and users of the popular business operating system. The award-winning publication has a paid circulation of about 100,000 and additional newsstand sales of 25,000.
Duke Communications launched a fourth magazine, Selling AS/400 Solutions, in February 1998. The magazine is published for IBM AS/400 resellers and independent software vendors. It has a paid circulation of about 30,000.
Just this year, Duke launched publication of SQL Server Magazine, a guide to using Microsoft SQL Server. Subscribers include a range of users such as database administrators, IT managers and data warehousing specialists.
Duke’s 29th Street Press published its first title in January 1991. By 1998, 29th Street Press had approximately 100 business titles in print. These books serve the same markets as Duke’s magazines: IBM AS/400 information technology professionals, Windows NT technical professionals and financial managers in business. 29th Street Press also has released college textbooks dealing with computer languages and programming.
Electronic publishing represents 8 percent of Duke Communications’ overall sales and has helped the company extend its scope and offerings. Web sites include www. winntmag.com and www.sqlmag.com.
“I think that our most recent three years of growth are really just applying the principles that we’ve used throughout our 18-year history,” Duke said. “Getting behind people with good ideas, hiring talented, smart, very motivated people and then trying to stay focused on things that really work for us and that are consistent with our mission as a company and that work in the market.”