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: More Pie Now!

Happy #TBT. To celebrate, we’re sharing an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: More Pie Now![In 2010,] I participated in a panel at Tickets.com’s excellent Executive Summit in Long Beach. This gathering, in its second year, is one of a kind in that it brings together top executives across the live entertainment business for a brief, but powerful, conference on a wide range of issues that affect the whole industry.I was on a panel with a group of really interesting folks, and the...

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Marketing

The Goldstar Distribution Network: Why We Built It

Goldstar’s about connecting your event with our audience. That’s our thing.I’ve said that, or something like that, lots and lots of times, but it started to occur to me a few months ago that it wasn’t quite right.Our thing isn’t about connecting your event with our audience. It’s about connecting you with audience, period.We’re not crazy enough to think that we are the only place to find great live entertainment consumers. (We’re the best place, but… ) And if...

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Technology

All Apps Are Trash

Eventually. And probably sooner than you think, your app is in the trash.Mine too. Which is sad for me because I've got two of them. The iOS app alone has been downloaded more than a million times, and they've both got killer rankings (4.5 stars on iOS and 4.4 on Google Play).Not to mention that it's taken years and dollars and massive brain power to make those apps work. They, along with our mobile website, provide the majority of...

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#TBT

#TBT: The Past Is Gone

Happy #TBT. To celebrate, we’re sharing an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: The Past Is Gone.For human beings, the past is a presence. It’s with us all the time in both simple and complex ways. When we step off the curb into a busy street, the hundreds of times we’ve successfully crossed a street safely guide our decisions or the story we heard about a person who didn’t. When we open our mouths to talk to speak to our parents, the years...

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Marketing

You Can’t Fill Your Stomach on Low-Hanging Fruit

If you're standing under an apple tree, and you want one apple, you do the obvious thing: You take the apple that's easiest to pick.You don't climb the tree, risking your life and ruining your sweater on the branches as you get to the top.You take the low-hanging fruit.It's an excellent metaphor. Marketers love to talk about low-hanging fruit. Low-hanging fruit is great because it's tasty and easy to get.But there's rarely enough low-hanging fruit. That's just the kind...

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Customer Service

#TBT: Good Service Is (Nearly) Free

Happy #TBT. To celebrate, we’re sharing an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: Good Service Is (Nearly) FreeGood service is, essentially, free, but you have to have the will to provide it.Here’s a thing I did way, way back a number of years ago that illustrates that.I worked for a company called Noah’s Bagels here in California. It was (and is) a high-end bagel place mostly located in nice neighborhoods around the state’s big cities (and in WA and OR, too).We had a...

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#TBT

#TBT: Let’s Get Marginal

Happy #TBT. To celebrate, we’re sharing an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: Let’s Get MarginalThere’s a very common analytical error that producers of live entertainment make. It’s the kind of mistake that comes straight from human nature, and so in a way, it’s hard to blame theatre producers specifically for making it. Most of them never claimed to be quant jocks.  In fact, many of them actively protest that numbers give them the heebie jeebies.Fair enough, but the consequences of this mistake are...

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Marketing

We’re selling a drug. The recreational kind.

Friends and colleagues in the live entertainment and arts business: Why do people buy our product, a ticket to a show or event?I've been thinking about that some lately and have come to a terrible conclusion: Nobody needs what we sell.To be more specific, there is almost no practical reason why a person should ever buy tickets to a live event. It's far easier and less expensive to either not go or to do something else, like go to...

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#TBT

#TBT: (What’s So Funny ’bout) Speaking Like a Human Being

Happy #TBT. To celebrate, we’re sharing an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: (What’s So Funny ’bout) Speaking Like a Human BeingA colleague of mine got an email from a well-known e-commerce site the other day that said this. (I took out anything I thought could identify the company or product.) Dear [xxxxx],We at [xxxx] work tirelessly to bring our members luxury products and experiences that exceed their expectations, all at exclusive prices. We also strive to provide the best support possible, especially if...

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#TBT

#TBT: Necessary But Not Sufficient

Happy #TBT. To celebrate, we’re sharing an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: Necessary But Not Sufficient.You need air to breathe, but it’s not enough to survive.You need to be big to play in the NFL, but you need a lot of other things, too.These are what’s known as ‘necessary, but not sufficient’ conditions. The Beatles sang that “All You Need Is Love,” which is obviously wrong, but it’s hard to blame them when “Love Is a Necessary But Not Sufficient Condition”...

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