Contributors

Jim McCarthy

CEO, Goldstar

Jim McCarthy is the CEO of Goldstar, but he is also Customer Service Agent No. 1 for the company. Jim has spent the last decade and a half in e-commerce, starting way back at GeoCities before it was bought by Yahoo in 1999. Even before that, he helped to open about 50 Noah’s Bagels locations in California, where he learned about delighting customers, developing employees and managing high growth. He’s written articles and commentary in Fast Company, Business Insider and other well known publications, and has appeared as a speaker at conferences like SXSW, TEDU (part of the main TED conference), INTIX and others. He co-founded TEDxBroadway, which he also hosts and curates. Jim graduated from Harvard College and has an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA. He also speaks Japanese, writes ghost stories and is a certified lifeguard.

#TBT

#TBT: The “Great Performance” and the “Better Mousetrap”

Happy #TBT! Here’s an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: The "Great Performance" and the "Better Mousetrap."I'd like to share something that's been on my mind: the idea that the only thing that’s important is a “great performance.”Here’s what I have to say about that:• A "great performance" is a necessary but not sufficient condition. It’s more accurate to say that without a great performance, you’ve got nothing and no chance, but saying that all you need is a “great performance" is...

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#TBT

#TBT: Audience, It’s What You’re There For

Happy #TBT! Here’s an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: Audience, It’s What You’re There For.I had a really interesting lunch with Terry Teachout of the Wall Street Journal, and the conversation ranges, as always with a person with as big a brain as Terry’s, from topic to topic, but landing on the topic of the role of the audience in creating and managing programming.Somehow, it seems that some people, particularly in the arts, have this idea that the audience is irrelevant...

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#TBT

#TBT: Avoid Extendinitis

Happy #TBT! Here’s an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: Avoid Extendinitis.This is a malady akin to Pretendinitis but unfortunate in its own way.Extendinitis is the phenomenon where producers of shows believe that people will get more excited and buy more tickets to their show if they believe that the run is short.Not when the run is actually short, but when you’re supposed to believe the run is short.Let’s try a little experiment.Tomorrow at noon, I’m going to stand on the conference...

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#TBT

#TBT: Dr. No and the Courageous Deletions

Happy #TBT! Here’s an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: Dr. No and the Courageous Deletions.If I start a funky New Orleans-style jazz combo, that will be its name.But until then, it’s a management philosophy that I’ve recently rediscovered, and my experience leads me to think others could use Dr. No’s sage advice.Years ago, the first time I ever had a VP of Marketing job, I took over from a seasoned but very traditional consumer products marketing guy, who had been running...

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#TBT

#TBT: What Live Entertainment Can Learn From Chick-fil-A

Happy #TBT! Here’s an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: What Live Entertainment Can Learn From Chick-fil-A.We've discussed the phenomenon of using a live event to promote a live event. Jim Royce [formerly of Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles] told us about a successful launch event they did to promote the onsale of Spamalot at the Ahmanson Theater. They took the wacky, silly theme of Monty Python, got a few of their people to dress up in costume and grabbed attention...

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#TBT

#TBT: All About the LUV

Happy #TBT! Here’s an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: All About the LUV.People in arts and entertainment (but especially the arts) are fairly self-critical about their attitude toward audiences, and with good reason. The arrogance that it takes to ignore the people who are paying your bills is unattractive by almost any measure.But it’s worth saying that this dysfunction of thought is by no means limited to arts and entertainment folks.By contrast, that arrogance I was just talking about seems...

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#TBT

#TBT: “Free” Is Not a Business Plan

Happy #TBT! Here's an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: "Free" Is Not a Business Plan.Free is Chris Anderson’s latest book [@2009], and the premise is fascinating: In a world of bits instead of atoms (by which Anderson means electronic information as opposed to physical goods or services), the price of serving that one extra customer is so low as to be nearly zero. This in turn liberates the producer of such services to give them away on a broad basis...

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Marketing

Small Organizations Need Mobile, Too

Smaller organizations sometimes delay or skip important innovations because they're small. They have less budget, staff or expertise. Consumer tastes and habits change, and because smaller organizations are generally closer to the customer, they know it. They see the changes and know what's necessary, but often decide not to take steps to match that change on the grounds that resources are limited.The mobile experience is a current example. Some smaller organizations have decided to skimp here. It's an understandable...

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#TBT

#TBT: Math Phobia Is for Losers

Happy #TBT! Piggybacking on a previous post about math being a crucial part of marketing and selling out -- Stat Concepts You Should Know (Even if You Hate Math), we thought we'd share this oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: Math Phobia Is for Losers. This is one idea that Jim expands on, which he originally wrote about in 15 thoughts about pricing for the new year.You’re not Mad Men. Neither am I. Marketing today combines right brain and left brain thinking in...

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#TBT

#TBT: One-Step Strategy for Success: Be Awesome, Part II

Happy #TBT! Here’s Part II to last week's oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: One-Step Strategy for Success: Be Awesome. In Part I, Jim comments on a Bob Lefsetz article about the troubled state of music and the music business. Jim offers that Lefsetz's remedy is better music.And maybe Bob’s right: Just make better music. Just don’t suck. Just be great. Which is easy, if, you know, you’re great. Hey, Beatles, just make great music!“Righty-o, old chap. How many No. 1s...

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