Posts Tagged ‘business’

1. Fashion — (clothing line)

Problem: Having a couture brand that retails at prices only 1% of the world can afford, maybe 5% has to be backed by investors, legacy, trust funds to be able to generate the global revenue needed for profits considering distribution will be limited if not scarce. All of the above Kanye West does not have, look at the careers and line launches of Tom Ford and John Varvatos as examples of how it’s done, how and why it’s funded and then distributed. Also keeping in mind John’s line is sold heavily by Nordstrom Rack to support his next lines coming, liquidation down the chain is needed and Kanye does not have those deals in place. Both of these super successful fashion entrepreneurs built legacy inside of existing super legacy brands…Ralph Lauren & Gucci, they were not musicians buying their way into fashion.

Solution: If investors are there to support a SMALL couture line then launch and run that but it’s time to call Kohl’s and get probably about $10–15 million in a contract to design an affordable line for the masses, as strength is in numbers. This has not hurt the brand of Vera Wang who has much more history, success and legacy in couture then Kanye can build even in the next 5–10 years. Its also made Marc Anthony and JLO millions and they’re performers like Kanye…stick to artist business models that work. Also more importantly this would give you the ability to sell clothes you make to your FANS that would love to be able to buy/afford them.

2. Fashion — (sneakers)

Problem: The Yeezy sneaker is really a hot design and if it were even obtainable I would not buy it at $350.00 which I can afford, maybe 10 years ago in my 30s but even then I would not chase them with PR marketing of supply and demand issues that drive the price up to $1000.00 to get your hands on a pair…no sir! Here we are again at the legacy issue, it’s a pair of sneakers designed by Kanye West in partnership with another brand…it’s not a brand. It’s not going to be a sneaker turned into a company called Nike, or Reebok, etc it will fade out as all designs like this do. So smart business decision is larger distribution and the ability to create more designs… a good example to look at there is Tesla Motors and Elon Musk a similar model would help, a new Tesla is on it’s way for $33.5K!

Solution: Create a large amount of them with a very slight supply and demand PR campaign and distribution model but retail at $100.00. They will sell like hotcakes, get them in stores that Pharell has broken into over the years via the skateboarding and hipster markets that are boutique in the sense of local like ALIFE or Unbreakable as examples, but ensure you are in all major DMAs and distributed by the right “cool” locals shops. Look at the KarmaLoop model. Yes the company ran into issues but Greg had the model right and successfully was able to move local and specific “couture” but affordable brands via the web without creating brand dilution and too much market distribution, a great partnership between him and Pharell.

3. Fashion — (fragrance)

Problem: As far as I know you don’t have a Kanye West Fragrance

Solution: Simple, start one with your wife ASAP she has all the connections and business team to help you probably secure a deal pretty fast and get some upfronts on the contract for your liquidity problems considering she has and still makes millions in fragrance. Along with other artists like JLO, Beyonce, Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson and more.

4. Streaming Music –

Problem: Tidal since day one has had their own issues well documented in this article here by James Cook and Business Insider. But evidently there is something here to build on.

I am sure Kanye’s new album got some serious money being released only on Tidal for the first week (a company he owns stock in) and evidently more money based upon a re-up for a second week and holding a release to Itunes and other digital distribution, however Kanye brought a lot of attention and downloads for the streaming app that was not “technically” ready for it. That’s not good for customer service or a what may be viewed as a threat play to Apple. Like a game of Poker, looks too much like a bluff here.

Kanye then hits Twitter with tweets that he would not work with Apple on selling his music…in my opinion that would mean Kanye is going SHORT on TIDAL when the smart play would be going LONG.

Let me explain, to me this looks like an attempt to get Apple interested in acquiring the company and Kanye getting a payday on the sale, of course he is looking at the Beats deal. However Beats was a strong established brand supported by 100’s of millions of dollars in revenue from products before it even launched a streaming business, more important to note the brilliant packaging, branding and HUGE celebrity TV commercials Dre and Jimmy put together to go LONG for a big payday…it worked. It was packaged for Apple from day one!

Solution: First get more upside, you are bringing more users and attention to Tidal than any other exclusive release it has done, (although the past 3 weeks it’s safe to say it was a combination of Beyonce and Kanye) so call your buddy and mentor Jay Z work out the technical kinks ASAP to support driving more installs of the app and more streams, then work out a business development deal that you get a larger payout if you can influence/broker a deal to Apple to acquire the company.

Once that deal is done, stop telling Apple you are not going to release on Itunes, for 2 reasons — 1. they know you will and 2. they don’t care if you don’t but they would like you to.

So go have a meeting and set the date for the Itunes release and show major support with some exclusive tracks just for Itunes.

Now you are forming a good partnership with them and can start talking about Tidal, long term strategy.

5. Music Touring –

Problem: Over the past few years Kanye’s album releases and tours are like that of his fashion ideas…small audience, huge production, wildly expensive and do not gain enough consumer reach.

Solution: Kanye needs an 18 month all out tour that doesn’t have a multi million dollar jumbo screen and promises fans a mix of the new music and the old that got him the wealth that he has not over extended. While on this major “grassroots” tour, have the right equipment on the tour to start producing tracks for the younger artists that are outselling you right now, the ability to be an artist and a producer is a blessing for Kanye. Every artist starts to sell to smaller audiences as they get older but having the opportunity to support, grow and make money on the new artists by creating their next platinum track is a HUGE opportunity.

Look at Eminem as an example here, yes he still outsells anyone his age as well as younger artists but he started building up his label again, producing for younger artists and doing more duets with the younger artists supporting their careers and his. And well Eminem really doesn’t need much money at this point in his life.

6. Asking Mark Zuckerberg for 1 Billion Dollars to Invest in Kanye West Ideas –

OK well this was just stupid first off I am sorry I can’t be subtle here, it’s pretty evident Mark does quite well investing in his own ideas. But that’s not even the big issue, here is why this was the worst idea…

 zuck req

Problem: Mark like other technology billionaires does not spend money like most artists, actors and athletes do…not into the bling. They are into making world changing technology, global aid and building massive consumer reach via experience and affordability. The TOTAL OPPOSITE of what the brand of Kanye West represents. Kanye via his ideas has been trying to build businesses by producing products for the 1–5% of the wealthiest people in the world therefore making these items unobtainable by the audience/fans buying his music, a total injustice to the concept of customer service and experience. A backwards business model in the technology sector.

A good example is Kim Kardashian, all the products and endorsement deals she has done are affordable by the audience of her TV show(s), monetize the existing fan/customer base…a proven successful model and widely embraced in the technology sector…however Kanye’s business model is the total opposite of it.

Mark Zuckerberg created a $280 Billion company by doing everything completely opposite of Kanye’s business model. First off the product Facebook and all the products that have been built and acquired are free and allow access to not 1–5% but rather 80% plus of the people in the world.

Mark’s goal is to allow everyone to have access to Facebook and the internet, not just a few people. He wants anyone who likes what he creates to be able to use it for anything they choose, the last thing he would want to invest in is a concept that says to consumers “I know you like this, I know you want this and I know you need this but I have made it so you can’t have it.” Not a very grateful strategy, and you need to be grateful for demand and appreciation of something you create.

Solution: Say you are sorry for being so selfish in your request for $1 Billion of Mark’s money when you know he is spending billions trying to aid the world, create more technology and deliver product to everyone that wants it…so solution #1 here is APOLOGIZE for being short minded and selfish, solution #2 ask nicely for some time from Mark to hear an idea that is based upon Mark’s goals, Facebook’s users’ goals and delivering a great benefit and experience to those users as well as Kanye West fans.

An Idea for Kanye and Facebook — work on a live event broadcast via Facebook with a Q&A from your fans via Town Hall, this could be the biggest album listening party ever on Social Media and get brands to sponsor and buy ad space via Facebook existing advertisers as well as your own brand relationships. NOW more importantly get some of those Yeezy kicks and make a contest part of this and let people win them!

7. Kanye West Brand — Asking People to Pray For A $53 Million Personal Debt Issue…

Problem: Karma — You are not nice to people and you did it again with the shot at Taylor Swift who the industry knows was and is super famous and successful and that has nothing to do with your drunken stunt at an awards show. OK so I could understand you are scared, having that much debt is scary, losing all your money is scary, not being successful and having to start over is scary and praying for help to understand and deal with your situation is understandable.

kanye prayer

However asking others to pray for your 53 million dollar overspending problem is really just messed up and I am a little disappointed that I have to explain why, but I will…

So first off people have a lot more problems in this world not having food, water, education, family, homes, jobs and even a bank account with a dollar in it versus spending 53 million dollars on lavish ideas, lifestyle, pictures of Mercedes and a Rolls Royce via Twitter to show the world how “blessed” you are!?

kanye cars

What People Are Praying For — People are praying for support, love and help with their own problems, people are praying for the residents of Flint, MI, people are praying for innocent lives being lost to the war of terrorism, young soldiers dying as they fight for what they are not sure of in the Middle East, gun violence in schools taking children’s lives…I hope you get my point here. To ask that in these prayers they include a prayer for your overspending of $53 million when you earned $22 million last year and live a very publicly lavish life just doesn’t seem very caring of others.

Solution: Treat others as you want to be treated! — I know based upon your entry into this business when you were hungry and humble you understood this and respected it. However it seems to have slipped your mind how important it is to be nice to people, be respectful of all and the industry, be grateful for your success and really important dude…remember you are a musician, an artist and yes famous but HUMAN and bleed red blood like all other humans.

Be Grateful, humble and appreciate what your hard work over the years has given you the ability to afford and enjoy.

And dude if you really want to reach Mark Zuckerberg I highly recommend messaging him on the social network he owns, if you didn’t know it’s called Facebook…not Twitter. Here’s his page if you need it:

zuck page


There are so many data providers and they’re examined and chosen by files, size of company providing, white papers not segments and results this is a big problem and just one of many.

When I started in the data business we made the mistake of using licensed data from all 3 credit bureaus, 4 county record providers, at least 4 demo files, 5 transactional files and even more…What we learned after much testing is all the providers had value but in certain elements not the entire files. We paid for so much redundant data to find the right elements to build our data products.

These problems created an entire business unit, we were very lucky to be serving the financial markets which paid top dollar for modeled data products and allowed us to still turn profits after paying all the license fees but after years of building our own products from these files we found in each file components of what we needed and cut out the rest of the files.

The process was intense and needed a lot staff heavily educated and experienced in modeling and data science to build products to test and then cut the necessary elements and coverage. The amount of variables were insane from geographical coverage, criteria validity, hygiene, data freshness, audience reach and match rates. We also needed to include the sales team to ensure we were building something based upon real client feedback and demand.

The next step was my partner and I renegotiating terms with our data providers from full licensing agreements to partial segment agreements…only paying fees for the data segments needed to create our unique products. We had to prove there was more financial upside to on demand and segment licenses versus full file installs. Not an easy sell considering the ease and profit of dropping off a full file every week, month or quarter and having us do all the hygiene and dedupping. We learned omitting data was just as important if not more than allowing data.

We negotiated based upon update cycles, batches of elements, higher prices for more utilized data sets and selects, and even longer term agreements if we had to, we knew this was risky but we saw the reward and huge unique selling proposition for our company. Some vendors laughed, some played ball, some took advantage (or so they thought) with higher pricing…our key to the pitch was our training of our sales reps to sell data the same way we needed to buy it and would build it was going to make us all more money. We were going to productize data in a way never done before.


There is so much more data now traditional, cookies, ip, set top box, survey, network and social but I see no difference in how it is needed to be purchased and sold. However the difference I see is now it’s my job to get third party companies to follow a business and sales model we created versus my own employees. I need their trust that it will work and their clients will see better performance.

I look at the adtech and martech space and still see these remnant buys with some audience data packaged but not enough lift in pricing and audiences that are still way too large to serve too…so too much data and not enough emphasis on a sales team that understands and can pitch the value in data elements being muti-compiled to create smaller audiences to create higher returns for the providers, the servers and the end user all simultaneously and this is possible…it’s being done but not enough.


The data providers are not offering the two key services needed to make this harmonious success theory a reality…training and support. Constant training and support.

Here is an example of the inability for me to buy data from a third party:

I logged into a native ads platform I know pretty well to launch a B2B campaign for a client of mine, simple steps went smooth, loaded the advertorial, pictures, URL etc. Below was the select audience data immediately I selected a source I am very familiar with I have worked with their data for years. So I began with 3 selects and pressed NEXT, the spinner started and just kept spinning until it crashed…OK mistakes happen so I started it all again and it crashed again. I ended my attempts to run the campaign the third party and the source lost utilization from me.

The data was not installed properly, the match process was not reaching out and grabbing right and the MVC was not stable so no sales and no campaign for my client…everyone loses.

The best examples to this training model I can give are Oracle and Salesforce, two companies that created products that created huge value for them and their clients by having powerful consulting businesses constantly providing training on use of the products and the data the products provided.

So now these two giants are buying the data companies and slowly attempting integration into their existing software products while also creating separate data sales business. The wall they are hitting is lack of utilization and ability to sell premium data products. The data is being utilized by companies trying to increase performance but not the price for that performance. This makes 0 sense to me, quite simply you buy a Porsche Carrera at one price and a Turbo at a much higher price…the turbo performs better and offers more…and it’s evident.

Building better performing data products and audiences if done right should be evident right down to the bottom line of both the provider and the end user, which means both parties should increase price for value.

So how do we change what needs to be changed to make this happen? Same way Oracle and Salesforce became multi billion dollar companies, provide the product and train the end user on how to best utilize it and sell it. Sales training by the vendor an old software model that needs to be packaged and delivered properly for data.

I remember years ago at Red Clay when the reverse mortgage business started booming and we were crushing direct mail response rates for a solid year, then those response rates started declining fast. We needed to change the audience. So we took in a ton of campaign data the positive data and the new negative data and looked at the changes…the ah ha moment came when we needed consumers with more debt management issues. So we had to use one of our vendors that had more late payment coverage. We immediately switched the late payment criteria from one bureau to another and instead of 60 day lates we went with 90 to 120 day lates…BOOM response rates went back up in tests.

Now we had built a new and improved data product for reverse mortgage that would double our competition’s response rates, next was a series of sales meetings that included all staff involved with product creation to create new pitches that documented how we built the file and the new and higher price we had to demand for it because with these response rates clients would double their profits.

This example is so agnostic to any data product/service, any audience, any use of data from traditional to digital to research and planning utilization. But it takes this holistic approach of all the teams working together, collaborating and being intimately involved from problem to solution to really embrace, trust, get excited about and sell the product. This requires training!


I say and hear this from my fellow entrepreneurs and committed workaholics quite often and we all believe it’s true even better we believe it’s true right in the midst of a cold or flu…no matter how bad the symptoms are.

BUT last week wow I was and am still a bit sick and it sucks and why did it happen, what caused these stages of symptoms to run through my body and basically kick my ass for the past 5 days?

I mean really kick my ass it was like food poisoning X 10 I pulled muscles in my throat and entire upper body just from puking so much for 4 days. I had a client dinner one night with my favorite as well as largest client so I pulled it together for the dinner came home and just continued puking but for those 3 hours of dinner I had to go into Superhero mode and wanted to (a lot of people would have cancelled, that’s a luxury that doesn’t come with this job).

Even some real Superheroes that were sick and couldn’t go out to save the world came back after healing to win:

1. Superman

2. Batman

3. Spiderman

One of my all time favorite examples of an entrepreneur being sick and still fighting on is Pete Sampras at the US Open in 1996 when he was throwing up his intestines in the middle of match against Alex Corretja in the 5th set and they were going to disqualify him…he pulled it together and HE WON!

1996 Sampras Video Clip 

(Yes I do believe athletes are entrepreneurs as well, we can talk about that in another post)

He used mind over matter and the passion of his moment he was in to switch into Superhero mode. At the end of the Open the entire world was cheering but Pete he probably didn’t even realize nor did he care what he just accomplished HE WAS SICK! He just wanted to go home and puke more and sleep and when that was over he would be able to sit back and realize what a champion he became that day.

Since I started being an entrepreneur at 19 I believed and still do sometimes it is mind over matter and I can mentally beat whatever illness I have, get my work done, make that dinner appointment and all is normal. Of course not considering the people everywhere I go that I am possibly infecting with a deadly virus (well it can feel deadly) and then they are infecting others and even worse their wife/husband and kids.

Way to go Brian you are so considerate you just possibly killed a small percentage of the population of NYC or wherever it is I am traveling to. Oops sorry…I NEVER get sick!

I remember around 2001 (I am horrible with tracking time) I was sick in a few ways, I was also scared really scared of the real world so I took a 3 month break from work, I had been going nonstop for 6 years to build the company…I was tired. I decided I would travel the world a bit, I would start dating again, and I was going to work on my foundation more. You know what I did, I stayed in my house for about 95% of the time and thought about everything in my life too much that I felt I screwed up in some way or just could have handled differently…total waste of time.

What pulled me out of this? Well for years I would tell people I didn’t have a choice I was called in for a meeting with one of the biggest record label owners in the world that I was trying to get as a client and I had to be at the meeting in 2 days…2 days I thought oh no I look like I a mess I need a month but well his ego was not hearing that so I had NO choice.

I realize now I could have said NO, you always have a choice and he didn’t pay his bills anyway so I actually lost money working with him, but I was back and ready to work. I went to my office, sat at my desk, read some reports and called a full staff meeting I was ready again and I wasn’t scared. After all what was there to be afraid of, to this day I have no idea except stuff I would make up or just think the worst possible outcome for. I was exhausted and making myself sick.

There are major diseases I will not consider/include in this but when it comes to a cold, flu, exhaustion or depression it’s a message from our mind and body to take it easy, what does it mean to take it easy:

-Get some sleep (try for 8 hours a night)

-Surrender to your body and rest, it is telling you it needs it, take a day off!

-Put an Auto-Responder on – I AM SICK! As the subject line

-Take a lot of deep breaths throughout the a day

-If you’re like me call your Mom : ) always makes me feel better

– Don’t drink alcohol or drink as little of it as possible

– Drink lots of tea and water

I have learned 99% of what I do now to stay healthy in mind, body and spirit from the help of my friend James Altucher and his creation of “The Daily Practice,” I have made additions and iterations to it for myself, you can do the same but do follow the key recommendations and concepts for optimal performance of self.

The Daily Practice By James Altucher

So I will leave you with this advice that you will not take from me so…LISTEN to your body and mind when they come together to send a message to you. I know you will take their advice because they know what is best for you.

We all get sick and tired and need a break and we get stronger from it, it’s not a sign of weakness and you will not be less of a Superhero by resting a few days you will be a better and stronger one for it!

brice Twitter | brice Trending.

@getbrice trending and industry tweets

My company, Gocella, moved offices this week. The elevator wasn’t working. The deliveries did not show up. The internet didn’t work. When Internet doesn’t work you feel like you might never connect to anyone or anything ever again.

I felt lonely. I missed the old office. And I hate change and the fact that I had to move because no clients want to come to New Jersey.

Then I received a call from that someone special, asking me to take a break and meet for a bit outside, “wanna take a walk?” If this were about 12 months ago I would have said I can’t too busy and anxious about getting this move right.

HOWEVER, I VOWED TO MYSELF and her priorities have changed and my personal life and her come first.

Since I made this change, guess what? I have made more success in my life.

I have really been able to embrace the good stuff and enjoy moments I used to let slip by.

So I excused myself from the team and headed out to meet her, we walked a bit and then found a park to just sit in the grass and talk about our day, our weekend plans and just smile at each other.

That sounds like corny BS. But I vowed to myself to be corny…it’s honest.

On a tough day, an entrepreneur needs breaks. The more busy you think you are, the more breaks you need. At least for me this is true.

Gocella is not my first start up but it is the most important company I have ever started…I designed product with a great team that will enhance and innovate the future of direct marketing across mobile and social. The experience of the team behind Gocella is pretty crazy, so crazy I can’t believe the team we have from dev, to tech, to sales, to corporate. I am really blessed.

After a day of my brain being electrocuted, I met my friend Bugsy for a beer and he invited me to the Eminem concert for Gshock. Effin Eminem!

I turned it down and headed home.

Just having a beer with  Bugsy  was a bonus we have been friends for about 19 years. Eminem would’ve lasted one night. Bugsy is my friend for life.

This was truly one of those days to be grateful. You having zero doubts who real friends are. You know when someone really cares, you got to be productive…you stayed inspired and dedicated. If I can have that every day that’s worth a gazillion dollars.

On the drive home there was an accident. Ambulances and police and lights flashing everywhere. My usual 25 minutes was 90 minutes. I switched from Jay Z to classical and some Andrea Bocelli. Wall to wall traffic.

I felt like I was never going to move again.

What a great day.

“Just let me be great, let me be great.” – Jay Z F.U.T.W

Last week like many days in my business life something didn’t go exactly how I wanted it to and I got truly upset. It was early in the day but I needed to just go home and hide and take in what happened and yes do a bit of sulking.

I have been an entrepreneur since 20 years old when I started my first company a call center that pivoted to a data list broker and multi compiler. Business has been my college, my personal life and my source of great energy. Up until my most recent start up Gocella all of my companies were funded by myself and business partner Sev, also my best friend since I was 17 and we are still at it together.

Even Gocella was 1.5 years funded by us until we were introduced to Ryan Moore at Atlas venture who decided to lead a round that we didn’t even have planned…real boot-strappers. Smart guy : ) Thanks Ryan and Atlas and all our investors, rest assured we are building and working from the brain and the heart.

So yes I take it all personally I don’t know how not to because I feel that is what drives my passion to create successful companies and happy clients. I want everything I do to be great and that takes more than a brain and innovation…it takes heart. Well things involving our hearts are very personal.

I do know this makes things at times more difficult, overwhelming and quite exhausting. However it’s my formula and I refuse to change it, no matter how much sleep I lose sometimes, or tears I shed, or worries I create and amplify. It’s who I am and it is the way I am outside of work as well.

I want to not only make my clients happy but my friends, family and the special person in my life. All the same side effects though come with being so personal and unfiltered in my personal life just like I mention in business.

What if I didn’t take it all personally? I would feel like I wasn’t giving my all and if I didn’t have my heart in something and also I would feel like I was lying to myself, to people, prospects, investors, clients, friends and loved ones. This I will not do. My principles on lying are pretty crazy…yes I get the whole white lie thing but I just hope if I stick to this code, this formula, well it will come back to me from others.

Taking things personally means caring, appreciating, being grateful and trying my hardest to do great work, be a good person and you know what just being great. Let’s be great!

I try more now to at least not amplify the little things that happen to all of us, I try to let go so I can move on and make something else work out versus focusing on the negative or unexpected “let down”

But no matter what it’s all personal, it’s my life and it all affects me. Unfortunately I need to remind myself more often that I am not the only one going through these types of emotions and giving my all at any risk necessary…I am getting a little better at this from the help of great friends.

So the way I see it is, take it personally and people will know you really care, you really want to  be happy and make others happy and I don’t know how that can be done without putting your heart into your work and wearing your heart on your sleeve.

So for those that feel the same way, live the same way and struggle because of it…I say keep up with the struggle, confide in great friends and trusted advisers because in my opinion nothing will ever be great without someone’s heart being on the line and involved.

Take it personal, it’s your life we are talking about here it’s how you want people to view you and trust you.

Trust is what it’s all about!

So again let’s be great!

So Facebook is not effective although nearly 60% of FB users click on ads, over 3 million brand pages are there, it is the largest data bureau in the world. Study: Nearly half of Facebook users never click ads

GM to Stop Advertising on Facebook – was GM really advertising in Facebook?

Missing communications and social context.

Especially when slightly comparing it to the GM website

And now the Super Bowl is too expensive even with massive traditional and digital media reach as well as a wide and engaged audience…

GM drops out of Super Bowl advertising

Message to who, with what goal and how can reaction be expected here that would lead to engagement, word of mouth, or sales lift?

Advertising is now more dynamic than ever so I agree budgets, creative and marketing communications should move with the engagement and the goals faster. However for a brand like GM that has the budgets for Super Bowl and mass community management I think the decisions being made are not dynamic just drastic.

If GM were to  run a Super Bowl ad that led to an engagement campaign and reduced spending in other areas that are not as measurable, success could come possibly in a short period of time.

TV is still a huge advertising channel but for who and for what and why is what we need to know before planning a TV campaign for a client, especially with the reach, relevance and engagement available to us with digital video.

We really now have the exciting opportunities to iterate, personalize, and optimize ads based upon real human behavior and opinion via socnet. The data is enormous now but the data is enormous now, so that said I think the key is paying close attention to optimize all media up and down the marketing funnel, “arbing” properly the creative, content, context, media and goal.

Our minds are like parachutes, they only work when they are open, and allow freedom of thought minus the fears.

Think prospect relationship management is what I tell  my clients, try not to crash the dinner party get invited, deliver a message that is more natural, use the social windows properly and combine them with traditional media and methods.

GM There is plenty of opportunity for you here and I am glad to see a brand like you being sensitive to spends that is smart but try not to lose sight and focus on the “long tail.”

PS – I wouldn’t hide any cars in some odd place and try to get people to find them and don’t think more celebrity power, think influence, reach and seduction.

There is plenty of opportunity to be effective right down to the dealer and point of purchase level with engaging, efficient, unique, and seductive marketing communications. The data can lead you there.


Also published here: GM vs. Facebook by Brian Rice – The Fearless Group Blog – contributor

Dear RIM,

(I hope you will receive this message via social media, since the decision you’re making has important consequences for your customers).

I’m speaking for myself and, to some extent, for all RIM customers. (Naturally, I encourage other customers to voice their own views.)

First, I want to thank you for the work you’ve done to date. I’ve been a loyal RIM customer and a brand ambassador when given the opportunity. Over the past two years, however, I’ve thought many times about switching to an iPhone or another competitor’s device.

While I continue to be happy with some of the features that sold me on you in the first place: amazing email functionality, superior security and your keyboard (I have a Bold 9900, and dig the device), I believe it’s high time RIM provides its customers some new reasons to remain loyal.

There was a great article in the NYT this weekend on Apple’s manufacturing which demonstrated the incredible emphasis Apple has on anticipating consumers’ needs during product development. It would be impossible for an Apple customer to read the article and not feel that Apple cares deeply about their product experience, considering even how their phone’s going to fare when placed in their pocket next to their housekeys. It’s a good read on American manufacturing that also touches on margins, work ethics and more.

I don’t have any special knowledge of RIM’s product development methodology and so can’t make a comparison. If RIM is working in similar fashion to Apple, planning a future with its customers based on their needs, I’d be glad to know about it. The way I see it, RIM and I are and have been in a relationship. I suppose I’m asking what RIM’s commitment to me is and what it’s done for me lately.

Relationships involve getting better at what you’re already really good at, learning what the other person really wants from you and then working on being more of whatever that is. For RIM, this should involve embracing niche markets and developing more of what they want.

I’m not going to give a full list of what I need from RIM right now but there are undoubtedly areas for improvement that benefit us both. These have to include merchant abilities (possibly in the works), a secured merchant app so I can have outside sales reps for my software company accept payments. One new reason why this is important is that Square, one of the most popular services, isn’t available for Blackberry This would really make us both happier. Mobile merchant services is not a bad look considering…

I feel we aren’t communicating well. Maybe you have plans I’m not aware of—things that would allow me to worry less and be more enthusiastic about our future. I know, financially, you’re stressed out right now. Frankly, it’s that way for a lot of companies, so know you’re not alone and you’re in a better place than many others, I’m here to support you for the long haul. However, you can’t ignore that I’ve made plenty of sacrifices to be in this relationship. It’s time for you to reciprocate by making some compromises of your own.

I think it would be cool to see you working on a highly publicized incubator to build enhancements to the Blackberry experience. Make it fun, challenging (independent of your existing culture) and really focus this on utilization of existing customers; score us and the ROI on each of us.

You can’t be everything to everyone, so prioritizing our relationship right now is pretty important. Think beyond startups. Look for mobile companies and software that will really benefit your customers and help them provide products to us (Right now, they’re almost all very focused on Apple IOS and Android, understandably so). When I say “highly publicized,” I don’t mean a reality show, I mean publicized on social media and communicated to me and my friends and then their friends…because that’s how it works. Think Kickstarter concepts for RIM (not literally); source the interest from me, don’t be afraid to ask. You haven’t asked about me in a long time.

Another idea, Vlingo! I used the Christmas credit you gave me (thank you!) so it was free. That was cool because I was already testing the free trial, is there a way to work more closely with them? Are you already doing that? They’re the same company as Siri, right, but I tested Siri and, well, Vlingo needs work but has potential. I would just be cautious on advertising it too soon, I think there’s a way to find out what help Vlingo may need, what challenges they have, and what it would take for Vlingo deliver the best version possible to Blackberry users and then make it happen!

Well RIM you know how to reach me…

Cheers –

Brian Rice

The honesty and open communication in G+ (from those I follow and that follow me) has been really exciting and inspiring. So I thought I would share a pretty honest story about my morning and the thoughts that came to me this morning as I really took in all the different posts and shares related to the death of Steve Jobs and my own perspective. As well as the song that came to me through this reflection.

“When you combine passion and hard work, then success is always possible.” – Arte Moreno

The loss of Mr. Jobs (a business soldier) hit us all differently and some the same, for me reflection came. I got home to my love last night telling me she is concerned with my work ethic and my health. Thank you B I love you with all my heart and am so grateful you love me and all my insanities.

I have lost friends damn near family large in part due to my work priorities and ethics and no matter why or who was “wrong” or “right” I still miss them, success and money does funny things to relationships sometimes evil whether it’s the gain of wealth and success or the loss of them. Just when you think you’re intentions are good that could only be your perspective.

I quote Jay-z “Everybody wanna know what my Achilles heel is, LOVE I don’t get enough of it”

I woke this morning remembering vividly my Mom’s face and tears when she saw at 17 what I was really selling to pay the mortgage cause dad left, I remembered my best friend’s face when I fired him after 20+ years in each other’s lives. He was right there to watch my Mom cry that day and a big part of the company doing really well during its first 10 years. Damn dude you broke my heart and I was so mad for so long but I hope wherever you are you and your family are doing well. Please respect the truth and find peace.

“I have had all of the disadvantages required for success.” – Larry Ellison

Music Inspires Me – I am 36 and grew up in NYC, I was a DJ in my teens (for weddings, bad bars (think Road House), bar mitzvahs) so I learned to love classical music, pop, rock, all genres but I am a big jazz, blues and hip hop fan. That said my thoughts this morning led me to “Lost Ones” by Jay-z a must listen on the way in I thought.

This entrepreneur thing is not so easy most of the times regardless what some believe but Jobs, Gates, Hughes, Simmons, Jay Z and so many more (imho) all are inspiration to keep fighting and to find the balance. They gave and give it everything they have, their hearts.

“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”- Jeff Bezos

I was one of many that watched the Stanford speech and then I watched Jobs and Gates during their rare interviews together…Awesome stuff!

Young, dumb, and too proud I turned down 2 exits years ago…if I knew then what I know now well I would’ve sold and been grateful. Didn’t see 2008 coming!

So if when I didn’t accept terms I didn’t really say thank you…A.M.C. and CBC Thank You for your consideration at the time.I follow closely and congratulate all your accomplishments since.

I wish all of them and all of us perseverance and humbleness and success. The troopers that make many sacrifices, the entrepreneurs doing it with heart may we all get to our goals and enjoy our lives…that’s good energy.

The sacrifices, the hours, the heartbreaks, the challenges I wouldn’t have it any other way but the only cost should be time, capital, and yes emotional but not so much friends, family, loved ones, and health.

“Football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.” – Vince Lombardi

So again thank you to those that pave the way, that falter in the public eye for the sake of others to learn from their mistakes, that consider our futures as they innovate, that can affect so many from their own accomplishments, that are willing to give it all for the many rewards and challenges that come from success and sacrifice.

So to my Love, my Mom, to all my family, my friends that support me to Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Howard Hughes, Eminem, Ray Charles, Shawn (Jay-z) Carter, +Larry Page , +Sergey Brin , +Mark Zuckerberg, the G+ers and so many more on my list that inspire, make me challenge myself, and work with heart Thank You.

Have a good day. – Brian

I wake up pretty early everyday (between 4:30 and 5:30) and I used to get a glass of water and start getting ready for work. For a few reasons I “jump into the day” but mainly because I wake with my mind already messing with me and reminding me how much I have to do each day (otherwise known as anxiety).

Also I like getting to the office before everybody to enjoy the silence and organize before the rush of tasks and issues begin.
I was never really crazy about coffee at home because I only knew how to make mud, however my love B she really looks forward to that morning cup of coffee and she also starts her day later than I do because she is better at “The Daily Practice” (by  +james altucher ) than I am.

She enjoys the morning, spends time with our dog Edgar, exercises, and works a bit from home. I am jealous when she tells me later in the evening about her mornings versus mine and she is actually so many times more efficient than I am through the day.

So my goals every morning were to be as quiet as possible and get ready in the dark as well as other parts of the house being as careful as possible not to wake B and Edgar. I thought this was a nice thing to do…

I work quite a bit and I usually think working super hard for about a year allows me to plan a small vacation with B and turn off the world for us but that year started becoming 2 years and the weekends started being work weekends as I took on building new software. So I thought plan bigger and then I can show B how much I love her with a longer vacation next time.

That’s man thinking big things to show big love!!!

So it turns out me sneaking out of the house in the morning was a big deal to B because I wasn’t even really saying good morning or spending just a few minutes with her before the day kicked in. So what I thought was showing love and care was actually showing signs that I wasn’t showing how much my love for her is a priority.

So I decided to learn how to make the greatest cup of coffee possible, adding spices and different creamers to create new flavors for us. Now I will not leave the house until I am ready, have made the coffee and spend some time with B sipping our coffee and either talking or just sitting in bed before I rush out the door.
Making a cup of coffee didn’t seem to be a sign of affection and priorities but as it turns out I was WRONG.

B loves the coffee I make and both our days start out better because of the coffee and those few extra minutes together. This went a long way and really helped me calm my anxieties before rushing off to the office or a meeting. But most importantly I left feeling really loved and appreciated…great way to feel starting a day I must tell you!

That’s woman thinking small things to show big love!!!

I really look forward each morning to perfecting that coffee and carrying it upstairs to B. I must say DD has nothing on my coffee now and my mornings are so pleasant they make my whole day better.

B is my love, my heart, and my best friend, or for music My Best Thing – Usher & Jay Z