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.

Word Stock

Word Stock Market: Spooktacular

The Word Stock Market is an occasional feature on, 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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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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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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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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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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NBA GMs Like Miami Heat’s LeBron James Because He Fills Seats

GMs go with Heat, LeBron James.Note to sports ticket marketers: Maybe one of the reasons NBA GMs like LeBron so much is that he brings them buyers. When the Heat (LeBron’s team) go on the road, the team they’re visiting sells 99.1% of its tickets.

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Is the Future of Arts About Broadcasting?

Michael Kaiser of the Kennedy Center speculates in this article about the future viability of regional and medium-sized arts organizations as producers of actual live entertainment. He doesn’t directly express an opinion, but he seems to be implying that the ability to broadcast performances (like the UK’s National Theatre or the Metropolitan Opera) will basically create a star effect and drive regional organizations into obsolescence.Three answers and a comment:• This will only happen if you don’t believe there’s a...

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Theater for a New Audience Hopes to Thrive in Brooklyn

A Vagabond Troupe Gets Its First Home.Wow, 34 years without a home and finally settling in Brooklyn! Theater for a New Audience went from a church to a YMCA to a rental building, and finally to a purpose-built home near the Brooklyn Academy of Music and a whole bunch of cultural assets and locations.This should be a great move, and it shows that live entertainment thrives in thriving environments. It’s rare (and difficult) to get success as a live...

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Selling Out With

Selling Out With Damian Bazadona

Damian Bazadona is the President of Situation Interactive, a digital marketing agency with offices in New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles that spotlights see-it-to-believe-it experiences. He has a knack for connecting his high-profile clients, such as Madison Square Garden, Disney and Cirque du Soleil, with the latest technology. Like a mobile campaign he executed for Blue Man Group in Las Vegas, where he focused on "text and snipe" in conjunction with bus ads. For Bazadona, making sure people...

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