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: 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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Marketing

The Experience Economy and Live Entertainment Entrepreneurship

Recently, I saw one of my favorite live bands, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Probably best known for their appearance in the movie Swingers back in the mid-'90s and a couple of hits from the brief swing resurgence of the same time, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has eight members, all of whom have been with the band for the entire 25 years they’ve been together.And even though they’re not exactly a household name, they packed a club, whose footprint is...

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Technology

Mobile Gets You Everyone

Let’s talk about the importance of good mobile technologies for live entertainment marketers. We’ve been investing in it for years because mobile technology via smartphone is the dominant consumer platform and will be for at least 5 or 10 years.Compared to desktop computers, mobile is relatively new, and as a result, those adopting it first tended to be younger than those adopting it later. But at this stage, we are not at the beginning of the adoption curve for smartphones. We’re much nearer...

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#TBT

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

Happy #TBT. Here’s an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: One-Step Strategy for Success: Be Awesome. We're breaking it into two parts. Check back next week for Part II.In 2009, Bob Lefsetz wrote about the state of music and the music business.I'll paraphrase here, which of course means you’re getting my interpretation of what he said, so maybe it’s best if you also go read his piece, too.But his point is this, as far as I can tell: The concert business (or...

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News

United Got the Wrong Answer Because They Were Asking the Wrong Question

Do you agree with the maxim “the customer is always right”?It’s the cornerstone of the American customer service philosophy, and American customer service is pretty darn good by global standards. Not the best, but pretty good.But I don’t agree with that maxim for two reasons: It’s not true (which makes it bullshit), and it’s not important (which makes it unhelpful).It’s not true because … well, you know it’s not true. Sometimes the customer is abusive or wildly unrealistic or...

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#TBT

#TBT: Theo’s Backpack and What It Means to You

Happy #TBT. In light of recent airline news, we’re sharing an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: Theo’s Backpack and What It Means to You.Recently, on a flight on Southwest Airlines, a kid named Theo left his backpack behind when his family got off the flight, as 4-year-olds will do.What follows is a story of heroism. Here’s the key snippet from the story:“During a recent trip to Utah with my wife and kids, my 4-year-old son lost his little blue backpack....

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