Hugh Hefner: The Playboy Entrepreneur And Lifestyle
Hugh Hefner is a name that the majority of adults have heard of and can easily put a face to the name. This is largely because Hugh Hefner is undoubtedly the king of porn and has been for quite some years. Although his route to becoming an entrepreneur was anything but conventional, the empire he has built up is undoubtedly one of the most impressive ever seen! As such, he is an entrepreneur that many individuals could learn a little something from.
The Pre-Playboy Years
Hugh Hefner was born in Chicago on April 9, 1926. His early life was a relatively happy time. His family was relatively wealthy and Hefner enjoyed a carefree childhood. However, as he was old enough to enlist when America entered World War II, Hefner enlisted to serve during the final few months of the battle. It was not until he got back from his service duties that he began to develop his business skills and, more importantly, the concept behind his business.
The entrepreneur claims to have had an epiphany of what he was to do with his life when he was in full time education at the University of Illinois. He graduated in 1949 after less than three years of majoring in psychology. During that period, Hefner was also honing his skills of editing and publishing by gaining a role editing Shaft magazine and submitting cartoons to various publications. Although it was an auspicious start given the role that he would eventually play in a certain magazine’s rise to notoriety, it gave him the entrepreneurial drive to start his very own magazine.
The Sexual Revolution
Sex was still very much a taboo in the 1950s, but it was also an untapped market as a result of that. Hugh Hefner undoubtedly spotted that the tide of public opinion was turning, society was changing and there was a huge gap in the market. Although he was initially a copywriter at Esquire magazine, he refused to return to work after his application for a raise of $5 was turned down in 1952. It was time for the entrepreneur to branch out on his own. After raising nearly $9000, Hefner had enough money to launch Playboy. Although it was a single magazine to begin with, it soon developed into a brand that became synonymous with porn and sex in general.
The entrepreneur published the first issue in December 1953 with the coup of the decade. It was unheard of to get major stars in new magazines at that point, but Hefner had made good use of his contacts and had managed to get Marilyn Monroe to pose on the cover and as the centrefold.
Playboy went from strength to strength in the ensuing years and soon had a cult following. Hefner’s venture was one of the most famous brands in the world and the entrepreneur became an icon in his own right as a result of his reputation as a bachelor with a revolving door in terms of the girlfriends he had in his home at any given time. The Playboy Mansion became the house that every man wanted to live in. However, Hefner was loathed to rest on his laurels. As the Playboy brand grew, the entrepreneur created Playboy Enterprises. This enabled him to market clothing, underwear, sex aids and even establish his own soft porn TV station, Playboy TV.
Although Hefner’s rise to fame and fortune has been anything but typical, his business sense and ability to assess the needs and demands of society has made him one of the most successful porn entrepreneurs in history. As his business has moved into the mainstream in recent years, it continues to go from strength to strength.