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.

Experience

The Mega Rock Star Model Is Old, Let’s Find A New One

The Who 'Going Mobile' For the Last Time?Congratulations to The Who for 50 years, and even though their 1982 tour was known as their "Farewell Tour," they've continued since then for 10 years longer than they'd been together at that point.Hey, I'm a fan of the band, and all, but classic rock of this kind has hung on too long to be healthy for the business. I won't say this tour will be unsuccessful, because I don't know, but...

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Pricing

Price Has Nothing to Do With Costs

When I talk about this, people look at me puzzled. A couple years ago, Michael Kaiser, smart guy and Big Chief of the Kennedy Center, wrote an article on Huffington Post that gives me a starting point for what I want you to understand about prices:“The central challenge facing arts managers is to fill the ever-widening gap between rapidly increasing expenses and earned income, primarily from ticket sales. This gap continues to grow each year since the number of seats...

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Bright Ideas

Create An Event, and You Might Change the Place Where It Happens

I talk a lot about the interplay between event and place, and this is a great example. No event lives in a vacuum, so if you're part of an organization (or group of organizations) large enough to change the dynamics of the place where your event is (or would be), you can create a synergistic effect.In this case, Tony Hsieh of Zappos and others are working hard to create an anchor event, the Life is Beautiful Festival, to bring...

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Innovation

YouTube’s New Music Streaming Service Not Too Different

YouTube's going to be offering a service that replicates what's available from services like Spotify, Rhapsody and others that to me, with a few quirks of user interface preferences, really doesn't differ much for the consumer.But I have a hard time caring much about this. The established principle here is that there is a business model for the streaming of music online in which musicians and rights holders get paid, but what they'll get paid is pretty minimal.Why is...

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Word Stock

Word Stock Market: Spooktacular

The Word Stock Market is an occasional feature on SellingOut.com, where I will tell you whether to buy, sell or hold a certain word based on whether that word has a strong future or has seen better days. For example, if you’d bought the word “hybrid” 10 years ago (when it meant a cross between a horse and a donkey, not an eco-friendly car), you’d be rich today. On the other hand, if you’d bought “digital camera,” you’d be...

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Bright Ideas

Freebie Idea for a Hit Show

In the vein of the return of burlesque, single-ring circuses, intense haunted houses and roller derby, I’ve got a concept that the right show producer could turn into a hit.Sure, it’s nostalgic (although none of us actually remembers it), and perhaps somewhat ironic, but in keeping with shows like Teatro Zinzanni or even Shane Scheel’s For the Record shows in L.A. or Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, I can envision it being improved as a form,...

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Pricing

Tonight’s Game Perhaps the Most Expensive Baseball Game Ever

Tonight, the Boston Red Sox play the St. Louis Cardinals at Boston’s Fenway Park, and some of the people I trust to evaluate the true value of the tickets in the secondary market are suggesting that it’s getting pretty crazy. Jeff Passan at Yahoo brings it together here.Here’s the key tidbit:“By early afternoon, the average resale price for tickets sold stood at $1,024 per ticket, according to SeatGeek. Remaining ticket inventory on Internet sites was even heftier: an average...

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Pricing

How Not to Discount: Part II

Don't discount at the last minute only.This one’s pretty simple. The second bad way to discount is to wait until the last minute, and then do it in a panic.Why is this a bad idea? First, you’ve narrowed your options considerably. When venues come to us the day or two before a show and say they’d like to discount, we typically can’t help them, and we’re fast! But the fact is that we, like every big website, have a...

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Technology

Every Organization Needs a Database of Ticket Buyers

New Software Will Help Small Arts Groups Track Customers.Two things about this:First, a good, central database of ticket buyers is a bare minimum. Wait … is it 2001? It was a bare minimum then. Now, if an organization doesn’t have some form of central database, I would go so far as to say it is not really doing marketing. It may be doing marketing activities, but it’s not doing marketing. Spray and pray advertising, maybe, but not marketing.Second, a...

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Innovation

Find Something Great to Do Anytime, Anywhere

Recently, Bloomberg asked me to talk about the impact of mobile adoption on live events, and some of you may have seen that segment.The reason they were interested in having me there is that over the last couple of years, Goldstar has put a tremendous effort into understanding and being part of the platform shift currently happening among consumers toward mobile devices. As a veteran of the original World Wide Web explosion of the late '90s, this mobile transition...

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