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‘We have Jews. You’re not getting them.’

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ROI by Frank J. Rich

ROI
BY FRANK J. RICH

Happily, it is not only bread that rises to meet its destiny. In each is the heart and the sinew to make a difference.

If you’ll allow, Main Street businesses are struggling to find sustenance in an economic rift that is slow to heal. Its perennial competition—national brands and box stores—enjoy soaring equity gains and the advantages in the use of media tools, while local retailers cautiously await their turn after watching both auto and real estate segments rebuild. But the irony in their dongtacular condition is that the path to recovery is available, easy to access, and affordable. It is but to join brands in the use of media tools. (more…)

November 6, 2013 |

61 Days: All In?

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ROI
By Frank J. Rich

Ready to shop? America’s favorite activity ramps up in the weeks ahead. In fact the 61 days between November 1 and December 31 are a bellwether of future sales. And, not coincidentally, the metric we use to judge the current year’s retail sales success. Online shopping is the buzz, growing faster than total retail sales annually, as one might expect. Small numbers “growth” is often spectacular. But, what’s really happening this holiday season, and how will it affect local stores—the 27-plus million of them that populate towns and cities across America? Let’s take a look. (more…)

November 4, 2013 |

The New Society

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ROI by Frank J. Rich

The previous column in this space, titled “Passion or Poison,” raised the question of whether our adopted faith in “consumerism” serves to edify or kill us as a world leader and righteous model. It ended with a suggestion that we consider the elements of transformation, if indeed transformation is our desire and need.

Some 28 years ago, I had a conversation with a Wall Street research analyst about something that eventually changed the world. After a successful career of 10-plus years on Wall Street, he announced he was leaving his firm and his industry. When I asked what he’d be doing next, he said he was joining a start-up to deliver “new media” products. (more…)

October 18, 2013 |

Passion or Poison

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ROI
by Frank J. Rich

The number one form of engagement in America is shopping. That’s the good news and the bad. Psychologists agree; “we medicate when we feel uncomfortably alone.” Jaded perhaps, but the idea lingers as though little more would tip the scales in favor of the conclusion. We can all relate. They have also judged that America is a nation of people with high anxiety and low self esteem.

That notwithstanding, unpacking the optics in the title question may reveal the DNA—for better or worse—in this American pastime. At the root of our penchant for shopping is “consumerism,” which may describe more aptly than anything else the nature of the American psyche. (more…)

October 11, 2013 |

Come On In, The Water’s Fine

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ROI
By Frank J. Rich

For this week’s column, I proudly turn this space over to guest contributor Carla Chase, CEO of Chase Media Group, publisher of PennySaver and provider of “Multimedia Marketing Solutions for an Omnichannel Marketplace.”

A customer call to me in 1995 was to inquire as to whether it was prudent to build a website for their company. The use of the Internet was spotty at best, so the answer formed a slow response. There was little question in my view of the world-wide-web; its potential was apparent for the ubiquitous presence and instant connection to the world it would provide. It was touted as the “way to relieve” us of the paper files that seemed to grow exponentially over time, requiring more rented cold storage for the mounting file boxes. (more…)

October 4, 2013 |

Time in the Bottle

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ROI
By Frank J. Rich

Few things happen as quickly as we’d like. Why? In the absence of perfect knowledge, opinion is usually enough. Perhaps, this [pejorative] is why the view of extraordinary success is tied so securely to the belief in “smarts” as the reason for it. Genetic gifts, environment, and other influencers certainly figure into the equation of success. Even time, that elusive measure of the clock without which everything and nothing occurs, has its effect on extraordinary achievement.

As people of unusual achievement—criminal or constructive—appear to show genius, a persistent eminence of thought, a pattern of exceptional contribution emerges. Not surprisingly, the “time” it takes to prepare such “genius” is both the encouragement and the warning for those who shun it in favor of quick results. Few workers think inwardly that they could not sit in the president’s seat. Indeed, the view from the bleachers makes a home run look like the flight of a Tiddly Winks button. Yet, over 50 percent of corporate CEOs fail to achieve their organization’s goals. What we see is often not at all what is there. Skilled people, especially athletes, make the extraordinary look ordinary. (more…)

September 27, 2013 |

An Audience of One

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ROI
by Frank J. Rich

Why does a young person without experience in an industry outperform others of like preparation? Is it a decision to do the work, relying on others for guidance and on oneself for the will, work ethic, and desire to achieve which is his alone? Not something that can be taught, only modeled.

What happens to his foundation should he fail to reach his goals? Is it strengthened resolve to learn from the experience that grows in achievers? For those he leaves behind, most less well prepared for achievement, the response is quite different, most likely to find fault with others or excuses. (more…)

September 20, 2013 |
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