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.

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.)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 No. 2:...

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#TBT

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

Happy #TBT! Here’s an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: 3 Ways You’re Wrong About Live Entertainment, Part I.Personally, you may not be wrong about all three or any of these things, but collectively, these are some of the most widely held misconceptions about the live entertainment business, and it’s time to set the record straight.Below, I’ll dismiss one of these vicious misconceptions and give you the real story, so as to help you avoid tragic perdition on your otherwise uninterrupted path...

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#TBT

#TBT: Are You Really a Permission Marketer?

Happy #TBT! Here’s an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: Are You Really a Permission Marketer?Today, I'd like to introduce you to the High Priest of how to “earn” the loyalty of potential customers versus trying to “own” them.(BTW, during this whole discussion of “owning” customers, all I can hear in my head is Lesley Gore singing “You Don’t Own Me.” Or the Blow Monkeys, if you prefer.)And with no further ado, the man’s name is Seth Godin. Way back in 1999,...

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#TBT

#TBT: Customers Aren’t Slaves — Stop Trying to “Own” Them

Happy #TBT! Here’s an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: Customers Aren’t Slaves -- Stop Trying to “Own” Them.Customers don’t want to be owned.In fact, to the great astonishment of marketers everywhere, customers don’t even think of themselves as customers. They think of themselves as human beings who might (or might not) happen to like what you and your venue have to offer.So, besides the general repulsiveness of the sentiment behind wanting to “own” the customer (gee, how 19th century of you),...

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#TBT

#TBT: How to Drive Young People Away From Your Venue in Droves

Happy #TBT! Here’s an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: How to Drive Young People Away From Your Venue in Droves.I was reading Anne Midgette’s terrific article [2009] about the obsession with the development of young audiences by classical music organizations, and something Anne said led me to take the idea further.Here’s the key tidbit from Anne’s piece:“ … I think the idea of 'a young audience' is one of those fictive Holy Grails that has emerged into the conventional classical-music wisdom...

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#TBT

#TBT: Captured on Film: How to Be a Successful Arts Marketer

Happy #TBT! Here’s an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: Captured on Film: How to Be a Successful Arts Marketer.If you want to see how good marketing works, read up:First, You Are Your Own Marketing by doing something courageously and consistently that most people think is crazy at first.Second, You Make The Future in a Niche Market because you build a small but motivated and loyal following.Third, You Have a Meaning because instead of just being a weirdo doing something weird, you...

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#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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