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Behind Spirit’s October Issue

Adventurer B

Here at the Dallas office of Southwest’s Spirit magazine, we all work in cubicles—including me, even though there’s a beautiful private office I could use if I wanted to pull rank as editorial director. One reason is so I can hear the did-you-know stuff when an editor gets off the phone; as in, “Did you know that Flight of the Conchords has the 13 bestselling ringtones?” Or, “Did you know that Portland, Oregon has the nicest drivers?” (You’ll see both for yourself in the new issue.)


I also love seeing the UPS guy when he walks through the door with giant packages. He brought us the coolest laptop luggage you’ve ever seen—and will see on page 36 of the October ish.


Unlike most magazines of our type, the editors write almost all of it, using very few freelancers. That way we can balance the editorial to meet the needs of readers. Plus, I’m selfish. If I’m curious about something, I don’t want to let somebody else have all the fun reporting it. For instance, for my “Business Idea” column this month, I got to ask a question so wacky I wouldn’t dare foist it on a freelancer:  What would happen if we rebranded nurses—I mean, called them something different? I talked to doctors, nurses, health care experts, marketers, and visited one of the world’s top branding agencies in New York. The answers I got surprised me, and they’re relevant to today’s healthcare debate. Plus I met a couple of “namers,” guys who earn their living coming up with names like “Verizon” (combining veritas, which is Latin for truth, with “horizon”—corporatese for “cool metaphor”).


Nell Lake wrote our cover story on the people who are most likely to save the earth’s environment: geeks. Naturally, we put our favorite geek on the cover: Rainn Wilson. Besides playing Dwight Shrute on The Office, he’s been on the cover of Geek magazine—twice!—and received People magazine props for “sexiest geek.”

And, no, that’s not a contradiction in terms. Ask my wife.