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

Defining Originality: The How Rather Than the What

Half of Broadway's content is from other sources, according to this article. And you know what? I don't care! In fact, I think Jordan Roth of Jujamcyn Theaters nailed this topic forevermore in his TEDxBroadway 2012 talk, when he defined "originality" to mean more than just, "is there source material?" But on the invention inherent to the work. The "how" rather than just the "what," as he put it.Hey, Shakespeare cribbed Ovid, Plutarch and folk tales from all over Europe,...

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Marketing

No One Knows and No One Cares

Here’s a joke for you: What’s the difference between ignorance and apathy?I don’t know, and I don’t care.No, really, that’s the answer. Seth Godin once said that booksellers shouldn’t be worried about piracy robbing them of riches, but instead wishing people cared enough about their products to try to pirate them.That reminded me of something I say to entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs all the time: If you work from the assumption that no one knows or cares about your product or...

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News

Money Now, But Long-Term Value Destruction

I wrote about this a couple years ago, and it's only gotten worse. Short-term dollars (maybe); long-term value destruction. As soon as there's a mild downturn in interest in college football, these bad bowls are going to be a financial albatross that could bankrupt smaller schools and conferences. By the way, most of these games are practically unsellable as tickets, however much the lesser bowl games' proprietors try to pretend the contrary. It's also a perfectly mockable emblem of...

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Pricing

Consider Pricing Simplicity to Avoid Lost Sales

Live Nation wins a lawsuit that was, frankly, a little nutty to begin with. The plaintiff’s claim is that, as a monopolist, Live Nation charged service fees that caused him damages and, therefore, LN should be forced to have an ‘all-in’ pricing model. The judge said, rightly, that the claim of a monopoly was irrelevant, and that whether the fees are added or part of the ‘all-in’ price, the plaintiff would be paying the same and, therefore, there were...

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Marketing

What Major League Baseball Can Teach Us

Lots of literally "inside baseball" information here, but I'd call your attention to the "Most Disappointing City" items about halfway down. Chicago Cubs sell-outs have been for a long time as reliable as McDonald's restrooms when traveling abroad. But they're down this year, to the point where you can just, gasp, BUY a ticket to a game from the box office, and a downright mortal 9th in terms of sell-through percentage. Is it team performance, which has been poor?...

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Marketing

TV Actors See Stage as Great Next Step

A lot of people will want to see Bryan "Heisenberg" Cranston as LBJ on Broadway. Having said that, a lot of people would be interested in seeing Bryan Cranston as Barney the Purple Dinosaur on Broadway, if such a thing were in production. It's not much of a statement to say that star power makes a big difference to sales, but I do think it's correct and very interesting to say that Bryan Cranston clearly sees great stage work...

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News

Should You Buy Into Music Promoter SFX Going Public?

Should you buy into this:Let’s Dance! Electronic Music Operator SFX Goes Public?I express an opinion. 

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Experience

What Does a Ticket Really Get You?

Most of the people who are reading this post sell tickets, and we even talk about the Ticket Business. But I’ve always believed that the ticket is the last thing we should be talking about, and the last thing buyers actually care about. Nobody, outside the odd collector, places value on the piece of paper you’re (sometimes) given to gain entry to a show. The ticket is not the thing.Surely, you say, the thing is the show you’re buying:...

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Bright Ideas

Why The Death of an Arts Org Is Like a Plane Crash

Howard Sherman compares the death of an arts organization to an airplane crash, and I think it’s a very strong metaphor. Here’s the key tidbit:“…a crash doesn’t occur because of any single event. Typically, they emanate from some failure which then triggers others.”Likewise, he says that, “arts organizations crash because of event cascades as well. It is rarely a single unforeseen occurrence which brings down companies; it is a series of actions, or lack thereof, that result in closure.”Of...

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Experience

Halloween Goes Immersive, Big Holiday to Sell More

Adding more momentum to the 'immersive' trend in live entertainment, this year's Halloween events blur the line between attraction and show. I think it's great because today's audiences are, more than their predecessors, interested in being part of the show. The success of Sleep No More or Then She Fell suggest that merging show and participatory media work very well presuming, of course, that they're done right. By the way, Halloween events are a big deal, and I think...

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