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.

Pricing

Is Your Marketing Working? How to Know for Sure

Event marketing isn’t easy. You have to make a lot of decisions about what you’re going to do to get people showing up and paying to see your event. Some of the things you’ll try (Google AdWords, for example) will come complete with excellent data about exactly what happened in your campaign. Other things (a print ad in your local weekly, for example) will come with virtually no feedback to let you know what happened as a result of...

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#TBT

#TBT: “The Transforming Fire of Machines … ”

Happy #TBT! Here’s an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: “The Transforming Fire of Machines … .”Is not a tagline from the upcoming Terminator Salvation movie [circa 2009], although it might work for that, too.Instead, it’s one of the “New Rules for the New Economy,” which, although not so new anymore, are still highly relevant because they were ahead of their time, back in the benighted year of 1998.In full, it’s this: No one can escape the transforming fire of machines.Before you...

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News

TEDxBroadway: Are You Ready for Your Talk?

Each year, I have the great pleasure of working with all the TEDxBroadway speakers on their talks. It’s really incredible to think about what the kernel of an idea was when we started and what it becomes when it's revealed on stage. I’m not taking the credit, mind you, the talk is all the speaker. But, sometime in our conversations they say something as an aside and, turns out, it really is the core of the talk. It’s usually...

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#TBT

#TBT: You Know What Customers Love? Rules

Happy #TBT! Here’s an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: You Know What Customers Love? Rules.I understand the reasons that the secondary market gives some venue operators the heebie-jeebies. Any kind of disorder or chaos created by sellers acting badly in the secondary market rolls downhill onto them when the customers who bought tickets from the secondary market actually arrive at the venue.Most obviously, fraudulently sold tickets are a real bummer. Imagine that a ticket broker sells a phony ticket, gets the...

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#TBT

#TBT: What’s the Difference Between Roller Derby and the XFL?

Happy #TBT! Here’s an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: What’s the Difference Between Roller Derby and the XFL?I’m here to tell you that as a viable form of live entertainment, roller derby is for real.By “viable,” I don’t necessarily mean, to paraphrase Lloyd from Say Anything, that it’s the “sport of the future” -- only that it’s something that may have the ability to sustain itself with a fan base and even grow.But let’s catch you up a little bit. Many...

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#TBT

#TBT: Who Wants to Be a Pontiac?

Happy #TBT! Here’s an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: Who Wants to Be a Pontiac?[Editor’s Note: When Jim wrote this on February 20, 2009, Pontiac was still in business. GM discontinued manufacturing and marketing Pontiac on October 31, 2010. This post is a helpful reminder about the importance of branding.]Not many takers on that, I’m guessing. To put it the way The New York Times Business section did, Pontiac will “shrivel up” over the next couple of years. Here’s the key...

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Bright Ideas

You Might Fail, So At Least Fail Up

I have a friend who is a very successful live entertainment producer. He’s a creative genius, not as an artist, but as a business person and an impresario. He sees more ways of getting people excited to be in the same building with a bunch of other people to see a show and pay big money for the privilege than most people — hell, almost anybody — sees. A short while back, he had a new production, and unlike most...

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#TBT

#TBT: 3 Ways You’re Wrong About Live Entertainment, Part III

Happy #TBT! Here’s an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: 3 Ways You’re Wrong About Live Entertainment, Part III. (Read Part I and Part II.)We’ve been talking about misconceptions widely held but both untrue and bad for the live entertainment business. You can go back and catch up by reading: Misconception No. 1: New Technologies are Making Actually Going Out a Thing of the Past and Misconception No. 2: Everything’s Sold Out!Now that you’re caught up, on to …Misconception No. 3. It’s...

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Customer Service

Everything’s Easy When It’s Not Your Problem

Imagine you’re heading to the airport. It’s going to be a long line to check-in, a long wait at the gate, and a long, crowded flight. Not only that, but at the end of that flight is a connection … and then another wait at the gate, another long crowded flight. And when you get there? You’ll stand around that metal carousel and wait for your little bag to come sliding down the chute, so you can head out...

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#TBT

#TBT: 3 Ways You’re Wrong About Live Entertainment, Part II

Happy #TBT! Here’s an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: 3 Ways You’re Wrong About Live Entertainment, Part II. (Read Part I and III.)Beyond the flippant title of this post, there lurks a serious purpose: to dispel some of the most damaging and widely held misconceptions about the business. If you need to catch up, go back and look at Misconception No. 1: New technologies are making actually going out a thing of the past.Now that we’re all together, on to …Misconception...

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