Trashing Brands and Other Stuff
From this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer:
Seaport museum ex-chief accused: Officials claim John S. Carter defrauded the institution of $2.4 million to support his lifestyle.
The Independence Seaport Museum accused its former president yesterday of defrauding it of $2.4 million to pay for a “lavish lifestyle” that included trips to France and New Zealand and freewheeling spending on paintings, high-end furniture and expensive boats. The ex-director, John S. Carter, is under FBI investigation, Carter’s lawyer confirmed last night. Despite being paid $301,000 a year—more than the head of the Philadelphia Museum of Art—Carter systematically ripped off the seaport museum, the museum contends in a lawsuit.
—Craig R. McCoy and John Shiffman, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 23, 2007
8/31/06. Satellite Radio: Seriously, Folks, Are XM and Sirius Serious?
Two of the most fascinating business launches I’ve seen were the Sirius and XM satellite radio networks. They had to invest huge bucks in shooting transmitters into orbit, come up with programming and then do the marketing. The business model was impossible to test. Focus groups and surveys could be done. But the massively, expensive system had to be in place before they could ask for money.
I pointed out the many broken marketing rules and the gargantuan 2005 losses by Sirius ($863 million) and XM ($667 million) and suggested, “ My guess is that room exists for one such service, and that the two will eventually be forced to merge.”
The January 2 edition of the entertainment publication, Variety, reported that Sirius had 6,024 million subscribers as of December 31 and had reached “its first cash-flow-positive quarter.” The story ended with the line, “The two companies reportedly are in talks about merging in hopes of stemming their consistently large losses.?”
11/29/05. When Lousy Ideas Fly
The giant A380 Airbus was the subject. It’s slated to carry 800 passengers, cause billions of dollars in expenses at airports because its weight would destroy runways and overpasses. In addition, other airliners would be forced to fly twice the normal distance behind it to avoid the severe dangers of its wake.