$6 Billion in 20 Minutes

Jeff Bezos - $6 Billion in 20 Minutes

I’ve made billions of dollars of failures at Amazon.com. Literally billions of dollars of failures. You might remember Pets.com or Kosmo.com. It was like getting a root canal with no anesthesia. None of those things are fun. But they also don’t matter.
What really matters is, companies that don’t continue to experiment, companies that don’t embrace failure, they eventually get in a desperate position where the only thing they can do is a Hail Mary bet at the very end of their corporate existence. Whereas companies that are making bets all along, even big bets, but not bet-the-company bets, prevail. I don’t believe in bet-the-company bets. That’s when you’re desperate. That’s the last thing you can do.
~ Jeff Bezos
According to Fast Company, on Thursday, April 28th, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made $6 billion in 20 minutes, after reported earnings beat expectations. Most people know Amazon as an online retailer but it’s collection of cloud computing services, Amazon Web Services or AWS, is Amazon’s new profit engine. The unit’s $1.9 billion in operating profit in 2015 was close to the $2.8 billion operating profit of the entire $99 billion retail business even though AWS constitutes only about 10% of Amazon’s overall revenues.

Amazon Web Services

It is important to understand that AWS started off as a bit of an industry joke. How could an upstart bookseller possibly compete with real data specialists or persuade companies to outsource data storage? Yet that’s what has happened. In Jeff Bezo’s 2016 annual letter to shareholders, he wrote:
This year, Amazon became the fastest company ever to reach $100 billion in annual sales. Also this year, Amazon Web Services is reaching $10 billion in annual sales … doing so at a pace even faster than Amazon achieved that milestone….

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Not a Crime to Murder Black Organizers

It’s not a crime to murder Black organizers in an operation run by the national political police.
~ Noam Chomsky

The Music Revolution

The sky was all purple
There were people runnin’ everywhere
Tryin’ to run from their destruction
You know I didn’t even care
They say two thousand zero, zero
Party over
Oops, out of time
So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999
In 1999 worldwide music revenue was $27 billion, in 2014 it had dropped to $15 billion. Most blame Napster for this decline, but if you dig deeper you will find that Wall Street and government policy are the actual cause of the steep decline in music revenue. The death of Prince is a metaphor for the death of music and especially Black music.
From WNYC’s Soundcheck we heard that “There Were No Black Artists With Number One Singles in 2013:”
2013 marked the first-ever year since Billboard began charting Top 40 songs in 1958 that zero black artists made their way to the top of the singles chart.
The top spot on the Hot 100 — today’s version of the singles chart — was dominated by white acts throughout the past year. Perhaps even more intriguing is the fact that white artists even sat atop the R&B and Hip-Hop Songs chart for 44 out of 52 weeks of 2013. Compare this to ten years ago, when every No. 1 Hot 100 single was performed by an artist of color.
Bob Marley and Chris Blackwell

(Left to Right) Junior Murvin, Bob Marley, Jacob Miller, and Chris Blackwell

Corporate culture is not conducive to developing musical talent and it is especially terrible at developing African-American musical talent. Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Record, quoted in The Song Machine by John Seabrook:
I don’t think the music business lends itself very well to being a Wall Street business. You’re always working with individuals, with creative people, and the people your are trying to reach, by and large, don’t view music as a commodity but as a relationship with a band. It takes time to expand that relationship… 

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Pistis, The Trusted Name in Digital Marketing

Pistis Magazine - Don Peebles cover

The new model of advertising and branding demands that companies improve public life and satisfy the needs of our higher sacred selves.
Pistis is a free magazine that will be mailed to local business owners using Every Door Direct Mail. We combine print, video, and digital while understanding the human element.
Rough Draft of Pistis Magazine (click image for full magazine):
pistis

Click image for full magazine

According to the SBA “only about half of all small businesses have websites.”
At Pistis we provide:
  • Web Hosting
  • Website Development
  • Email Marketing
  • Database Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Mobile Apps
  • Video Production
  • Search Engine Marketing and Advertising
  • Social Media Marketing and Advertising
Instead of devaluing customers by offering deep discounts, small businesses can use digital marketing techniques such as database marketing. The basic idea in database marketing is to build a close personal relationship with each customer that is based on quality, service, friendship, loyalty, and communications. And, not based on discounts.
You would not give a neighbor $5 for helping you move furniture. It would be an insult. Instead, you offer a cup of coffee or a beer, and 15 minutes of chat around the kitchen table. That is the kind of relationship that database marketing creates. Discounts send the wrong message: we are cheap guys whose basic product is overpriced. We want to buy your loyalty. We don’t care about you. We care about your money.

Database marketing campaigns identify Gold customers and develop programs designed to retain them. Resources that small businesses can not afford to spend on all of their customers. Profits come from working to retain the best, and encouraging others to move up to higher status levels.

Pistis will help small local businesses identify Gold customers and develop digital marketing campaigns to retain them and encourage others to become Gold customers.

umair haque quote
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Google Is An Old Business & Digital Ads Suck

The new model of advertising and branding demands that companies improve public life and satisfy the needs of our higher sacred selves.

Larchmont Magazine

Google has more revenue than all U.S. print newspapers and magazines combined.

ChartOfTheDay_709_Google_s_ad_revenue_since_2004_n
Ad Spending

Yet direct mail is still the biggest single direct marketing channel, worth around $45 billion a year in the US alone. But it’s increasingly clear that printed marketing communications work best when used in conjunction with digital channels such as email, personalized web pages (PURLs), database marketing, and mobile elements.
Larchmont Magazine is a free community magazine that will combine print with digital and video.  Larchmont Magazine will initially be mailed to residential addresses in the 10538 zip code (Larchmont, NY). We will follow-up by mailing Bronxville Magazine to residential addresses in the 10708 zip code (Bronxville, NY).
Very rough draft of magazine (Click image below for full draft):
Larchmont Magazine

Click image for full draft

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Digital Ads Suck

The new model of advertising and branding demands that companies improve public life and satisfy the needs of our higher sacred selves.

Bed-Stuy Magazine - Don Peebles cover

Click the image above for a rough draft of Bed-Stuy Magazine.
Bed-Stuy Magazine is a free community magazine that will combine print, video, and digital while understanding the human element.
The Financial Times recently reported that BuzzFeed, which has a reported market value of $1.5 billion, fell short of its 2015 revenue target by about 32%, pulling in less than $170 million after projecting $250 million in revenue. FT also says BuzzFeed cut its internal forecast for the current year’s revenue to about half of the company’s previous estimate of $500 million.
Digital ads suck strategically—as a product, a service, a format, a way of relating to people.
Umair Haque writes in Co.Exist:
This week, BuzzFeed downgraded its revenue projections, which sent media and advertising into a tizzy. If even a page-view juggernaut like BuzzFeed was struggling in the current advertising climate, what did that mean for the rest of the online media industry? But that’s all missing the larger point.
The future of advertising is about elevation and realization, not engagement and reach.
The problem isn’t about BuzzFeed…. [T]he real story is about the dark truth at the heart of postmodern media. Its business model is built on a deflationary asset: digital ads.
Why are digital ads deflating, ever cheaper, less valuable? Because, to put it diplomatically, they suck. I don’t mean creatively. Many of them are interesting and provocative creatively. They suck strategically—as a product, a service, a format, a way of relating to people. That’s the simple truth—hence, the abysmally low rates of interest in them by consumers, who aren’t captive to them like TV viewers are. They’re a liability—an investment that yields no real gains, only losses.

umair haque quote
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Want Your Children To Succeed?

Teach Them Computer Programming!
Robert Nay

Robert Nay at 14 years old built a number 1 iPhone app called Bubble Ball.

Learning computer programming has never been more important. According to Douglas Rushkoff, author of Program or Be Programmed:
When human beings acquired language, we learned not just how to listen but how to speak. When we gained literacy, we learned not just how to read but how to write. And as we move into an increasingly digital reality, we must learn not just how to use programs but how to make them. In the emerging, highly programmed landscape ahead, you will either create the software or you will be the software. It’s really that simple: Program, or be programmed.

Computer science in New York
  • New York currently has 32,165 open computing jobs (4.4 times the average demand rate in New York).
  • The average salary for a computing occupation in NY is $95,515, which is significantly higher than the average salary in the state ($55,630).
  • New York had only 3,575 computer science graduates in 2014; only 17% were female.
  • Only 3,126 high school students in New York took the AP Computer Science exam in 2015; only 23% were female; only 230 (7.4%) were Hispanic; only 146 were black (4.7%).
  • Only 187 schools in NY (13% of NY schools with AP programs) offered the AP Computer Science course in 2014-2015.
  • There are fewer AP exams taken in computer science than in any other STEM subject area.
The Achievement Gap
For decades, educators have struggled to close the “achievement gap,” the persistent differences in test scores, grades and graduation rates among students of different races, ethnicities and, in some subjects, genders.
When it comes to technology skills, the U.S. comes in last place — right below Poland. In addition, there was a significant racial difference with non-whites scoring below whites.

The Genius Farm

Psychologists are finding evidence that short, simple interventions can make a surprisingly large difference. Terrance Jackson, the publisher of Pistis, adopted some of these simple interventions in a class called “Creating Computer Games with Terrance Jackson” that was offered to local 5th-8th graders at Larchmont Library. The game that they created is below. We are looking to expand this program in the summer.
Roll-a-Ball

Roll-a-Ball

Click here to play.

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Inglewood Magazine

The new model of advertising and branding demands that companies improve public life and satisfy the needs of our higher sacred selves.

Inglewood Magazine - Keith Clinkscales

Inglewood Magazine is a free community magazine that will combine print, video, and digital while understanding the human element. It’s increasingly clear that printed marketing communications work best when used in conjunction with digital channels such as email, personalized web pages (PURLs), database marketing, and mobile elements.
Inglewood Magazine will address the fact that the standard research techniques of corporate America are cheating us of many great experiences. Malcolm Gladwell describes this as the “Kenna problem:”
If I ask you why you think what you think, can I trust your answer?
This process [standard market research] is fundamentally flawed. It is completely screwed. We totally overrate the significance of what we find out when we go through this kind of formal process and the consequence of that overreliance on this system is that we are cheating ourselves of all kinds of wonderful experiences that we would otherwise have [such as Kenna].
erykah-baduMusic is bigger than religion, it’s bigger than politics, it’s bigger than pretty much everything…. Make sure you’re saying something, when you saying something.
Erykah Badu

Wall Street and Government Policy is Killing the Music Industry

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