THE BUSINESS OF PUBLISHING BIG BUILDER magazine each month is at times like the home building industry itself: full of challenges and rewards. Foremost among the rewards are the opportunities to get together with our readers in person: owners and directors, CEOs and CFOs, division operating and construction chiefs, land acquisition and purchasing directors, marketing and sales managers, investor relations and public affairs managers, suppliers and consultants, analysts, and even institutional investors. Each of our readers offers a unique perspective on what's working, what's not, and often times, what lies ahead.

That was certainly the case as the leaders of a majority of this year's BUILDER 100 firms got together in May at a Scottsdale, Ariz., resort for an event hosted by BUILDER and BIG BUILDER magazine. This year's discussions revolved around the potential merits of vertical integration; over what to centralize vs. decentralize; of the need for talent and innovation; on the power of setting audacious goals; on the dynamics influencing merger and acquisition activity; and of the importance for CEOs to establish virtuous teaching systems within their companies in order to sustain long-term growth.

These and the many other ideas that result from such meetings provide a distinct texture and topography to the business of managing large volume home building companies. In turn, they guide our reporting efforts at the magazine. They also give shape to our agenda for a much larger gathering we have planned for our readers November 9-11 in Las Vegas. This year's BIG BUILDER '04 Conference—a combination of workshops and idea exchanges for senior managers—is all about concepts and innovations that can ignite growth and promote constructive change within the nation's largest home building companies.

One of the great challenges in our business, however, is how to distill for our readers the most relevant developments and ideas that impact the industry on a timely basis each month. Keeping up with the barrage of ideas is something akin to drinking out of a fire hose.

That's one of the reasons we've launched a new editorial service called BIG BUILDER NEWSLINK.

Each week, we now cull through a wide array of news developments, financial releases, and other announcements specifically about—and that we believe are of interest to—big builders. We also look ahead and track upcoming investor conference calls and other planned announcements. We then edit and e-mail a digest of headlines summaries to subscribers each Wednesday with links to the source of each news item, giving readers access to more detail on demand.

BIG BUILDER NEWSLINK. also features a snapshot of 24 public home builder stocks and tracks 50-day moving average prices, trading ranges, and P/E ratios. It provides direct links to the news sections of each company's Web site, the latest published financials, and other data.

Best of all, BIG BUILDER NEWSLINK. is free to qualified subscribers. To subscribed, visit and fill in the electronic form.

Adding a weekly electronic news digest to our growing offering of products and services won't completely address the challenge of keeping up with all the new ideas taking shape each week in the home building market. Hopefully you'll agree it's a step in the right direction. And as always, if you'd like to share an idea with us and don't want to wait until our next conference or meeting, just drop me a line.

Wyatt Kash, Editor