David Letterman has built a franchise with his list. Keith Olbermann uses his nightly Top 10 countdown to present a quick roundup of the news of the day, and Stephen R. Covey built a fortune by listing seven traits that successful folks have in common. People love lists, and writers — especially those in the business press — know that lists can help provide a quick overview for a complicated topic and great fodder for debates around the water cooler (including ours!) At Acadiana Business we’ve decided that it’s time to develop a few lists of our own.
Each month we provide in-depth coverage of a different segment of the business community in addition to general reporting on local business news. In this issue, for example, our focus is the hospitality industry; next month it will be banking and financial institutions. Often we ask our columnists to augment our coverage by weighing in from their perspectives (see Gregg Gothreaux’s column on P. 9 of this issue for the Lafayette Economic Development Authority’s numbers on the local hospitality industry, for example). And starting this month, we’ll add a list based on specific statistics within that sector to offer another angle and additional insight.
But one list a month will only give us — and our readers — 12 lists a year, not nearly enough to cover all the things inquiring minds want to know. What about listing the top publicly traded companies in Acadiana? Or the most successful privately owned businesses? And what about the dozens of other sectors of the economy that aren’t on the editorial calendar for a detailed report in a given year? We knew you’d be curious, so we’re pleased to announce that the cover story for our first anniversary issue this September will be Acadiana’s first-ever Book of Lists. It’ll be entertaining, but will also serve a real purpose for those who operate within a given market and for companies that might consider expanding there. Done right, a Book of Lists can even provide an additional economic development tool for regional recruitment.