Businessweek was first published in September 1929, only weeks before that year's stock market crash. Its original purpose was to provide information and opinions as to what was happening in the business world at the time.
The president of McGraw-Hill Publishing, Malcolm Muir stated, "The Business Week always has a point of view, and usually a strong opinion, both of which it does not hesitate to express. And all the way through, we hope you will discover it is possible to write sanely and intelligently of business without being pompous or ponderous.
Initially, the magazine published sections that included topics such as marketing, labor, finance, and management, among others. Consequently, Businessweek pioneered the action of covering national political issues that directly impacted the business world. In 1950, the magazine published its first executive pay survey, which it still does today.[