Monday, September 29, 2014

Mona Bijoor on Founding JOOR

Mona Bijoor, founder of JOOR, a wholesale fashion marketplace, explains how she took years of experience and started her company.
Bijoor found the pain point in the fashion industry through writing and blogging.  She may not have sought out such pain points deliberately, but as it is in the course of lives and our work, inevitably we encounter these.  It didn't sound like a logical or rational process of identifying what her new business was going to be, but rather an intuitive, gut feeling and an unrelenting preoccupation with the idea.  Then, it was about research | analyze | act.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Entertainment is Big Bucks: Music and Writing

Forbes Electronic Cash Kings editors Zack O'Malley Greenburg and Ryan Mac run through Electronic Dance Music's top five earners.
At $66 million DJ Calvin Harris brought in more than Jay-Z, Diddy, Toby Keith and Taylor Swift individually.

Forbes senior editor Zack O’Malley Greenburg takes us through the five highest-paid country acts in the world.
You can call her "country" or you can call her "rock," but either way Taylor Swift is golden at $64 million.

The world's richest writers made a combined $342 million dollars between June 2013 and June 2014. Meet the six top-earning authors who prove penmanship can be profitable.
Finally these authors cinch the fact that entertainment of all sorts is truly big business. 

That spells good news for me, not just an aspiring writer but also an aspiring filmmaker.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Entertainment is Big Bucks: TV and Modeling

The names on our list haven’t changed much from year to year — until now. The industry is evolving due to the rise of online streaming, DVR playback, VOD and changes in the way viewers consume shows. All of this has brought newcomers, surprising comebacks and sudden drop-offs to our list, which consists solely of male actors.
Actor Jim Parsons is proof that nerds not only rule, but also rake in the cash with $12 million.

The top 10 women on our list this year earned a total of $140M between June 2013 to June 2014 – a far stretch from the combined $214M male TV actors earned this year. But no one can beat the most powerful woman in television right now: Sofia Vergara.
When an athlete performs at a superb level, we say he's beast mode. At $37 million actress Sofia Vergara is beast mode.

The top 10 women on FORBES’ list of highest-paid models made a combined $105 million dollars between June 2013 and June 2014, proving that flawless genes and business sense are a winning combination.
Model Gisele Bundchen is far and away beast mode in raking in $47 million.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cautions on Dark Triad Qualities for Leaders

This is really a tricky issue to navigate and explain, that is, of leaders adopting so-called dark triad qualities.  But Inc. columnist Minda Zetlin does it with grace, care and encouragement.  Let's step back, and discuss this a bit more, though.

Terms like narcissist, manipulator, and psychopath come from clinical psychology, and they carry definitions that speak to disorder, dysfunction and psychopathology.  These terms have seeped into everyday culture and conversation, and they mean a host of things for people and they resonate with different sorts of images, emotions and figures.  In other words, semantics matter. 

That said, I think it's better to focus on the qualities that Zetlin teases, and that I add to, and essentially dispense with the terms themselves:
  • Narcissist | self-absorbed, impassioned and confident
  • Manipulator |  observant, calculating and strategic
  • Psychopath | courageous, steely and detached
To the extent that you want and can to adopt these qualities into your leadership efforts, then go for it.  The caveat, of course, is to use for adaptive, not inappropriate, purpose. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

LeBron James Returning, Cleveland Rising

In the sports world, this has been a remarkable summer for Cleveland.  Its prodigal son, superstar basketball player LeBron James, came back home, and signed a deal with the Cavaliers, four trips to the NBA Finals in tow and two championship rings on his fingers.

Plus, the Browns drafted the much heralded, arguably overhyped Johnny Manziel in the first round.  The verdict is still out on the football trajectory of the rookie, who has yet to play his first NFL game.  But the young man they call Johnny Football has added quite a lot of media and fan attention for the oft-loser of a team. 

Recently a colleague of mine, who's a director with the Case Western University school of management, whose hometown is also Cleveland, mentioned that the Republican Convention for 2016 will be held there.

So no wonder real estate valuation in Cleveland is on the rise.  I was happy to hear that city officials have done a lot to combat crime, pollution and corruption, the plagues of modern day cities.  All told, they've certainly grabbed my attention.  I'd love to invest in that city, but at the very least visit Case Western and grab a ball game or two.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Staggering Figures for Transformers Series

It goes without saying that box office dollars differ from one market another.  Companies, including movie houses, have options at their disposal:  They may employ different business models for different global markets, or they may stick to the same fundamental one but with alternative strategies and adjusted finances.

Reporter Ben Fritz boils it down clearly:  For every $10 a movie makes in the US, the studio gets $5 of it, whereas it's $2.50 for the same $10 in China.  But penetrating such a major market as China may pay dividends for future movie offerings and business deals.  So we mustn't scoff outright at the wide discrepancy between US and China. 

The following gross figures for the highly popular Transformers film series are staggering:

Sure, there are intricate financials and complicated business and market factors that go into topline and bottomline, but the gross margins for Transformers are figures that many movie houses would die for:  a whopping 387% in returns. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Jessica Alba Scores with The Honest Co.

The WSJ’s Lee Hawkins discusses the strong likelihood that Jessica Alba’s non-toxic products company, Honest Company, will do an initial public offering after an announcement that the company received a $70 million round of financing from venture capital investors.
The Honest Co. had $12 million in revenues in 2012, its launch year, then climbed fivefold to $60 million last year.  It's expected to hit $100 million by end of this year.  Wow.  Moreover, with the latest $70 million, Jessica Alba's company now has grabbed $152 million in financing from several participants.  Another wow.

Here's the story behind The Honest Co.:
Once upon a time...

A dad named Christopher and a mom named Jessica found themselves utterly frustrated trying to find the perfect products for their babies and homes.

We both wanted an ideal: not only effective, but unquestionably safe, eco-friendly, beautiful, convenient, and affordable – everyone should have it. We believed every baby deserved the best we can create for them. We are dreamers.

But, more importantly, we are doers.

You know what they say, if you want it done right, you gotta do it yourself.
Dreamers and doers, eh.  That's the ticket.