Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

College Athletes and Money$

August 10, 2014

Student AthleteThis past Friday Federal Judge Claudia Wilken handed down her ruling that the N.C.A.A.’s longstanding amateurism rules were a violation of antitrust laws. Yesterday I had the opportunity to address this topic on Sirius XM radio Mad Dog Radio’s Lance Meadow show.

Lance Meadow @lancemedow started the discussion with the statement that, college athletes should not be compensation as they receive a scholarship in exchange for their athletic participation. The arguments from the call in guest, ranged from one extreme to the other extreme. For example one caller suggested that the college should provide the athletes with not only a stipend but a car as well, so they would be able to get around. Another called felt that the current system of providing a scholarship was enough. He further stated that he felt that a significant percentage of the student athletes did not want an education but was hoping to get into the pros.

Mr. Meadow acknowledged that the current scholarship system can be improved and there are tweaks that can be made to provide certain athletes with a trust to accommodate the recent federal judge ruling. One key argument is that within the technology transfer departments a student is able to license their technological developments to companies for a profit. Everybody wins, the student, the university and the company. The same could be said for the student athletes. While the student athlete situation is not as clear-cut at the technical student who develops a new technology or application there are some lessons to be learned and could be applied to the student athlete debate.

First off let me say that I am not an authority on this topic as it quite complex. However like everyone else I have my thoughts, comments and suggestions. So here it goes.

You want a system that is:
➢ Fair – Fair in the sense of providing all student athletes with standard offering within their specific university size environment
➢ Equitable – Equitable so that all student athletes are treated in a similar fashion
➢ Reasonable – Reasonable in the manner that the world community would provide their moral support.

To that end I would recommend the STaGS approach.

➢ Scholarships – Provide the student athlete with a scholarship system that provides 5 years to obtain their degree provided they meet their course and athletic requirements. Even if they have a career ending injury.
➢ Trust – Trust accounts for those qualified athletes that are able to sell their likeness, autographs, etc.
➢ Grants – Financial grants for those athletes that have special financial needs.
➢ Stipends – Standard monthly financial stipend for all athletes

There are a lot of details that need to be worked out for each aspect but it would address a majority of the issues raised by those who say that the student athlete is not being treated fairly.

I look forward to your thoughts, comments and suggestions as to how the college athlete should be treated. NY Times, Ben Straus, Steve Eder, Marc Tracy


Will the traditional journal subscripton model make a comeback?

July 1, 2014

The other day my good friend Kent Anderson’s blog post on the Scholarly Kitchen “Hiding in Plain Sight — Is the Subscription Model the Optimal Business Model for the Digital Age?” is spot on as he sites several companies and industries that thrive successfully on the subscription model.  However the scholarly publishing industry has experienced significant growing pains and struggles going back to the eighties with the subscription model as the publishers increased their prices significantly due to changes in currencies, subscription cancellations, additional pages, etc.   I thought it would be useful to provide some further insights on this topic.

These developments prompted the library community to put in place their annual journal cancellation renewal program to balance the needs of their user community with their budget.  Prior to the launch of the digital initiatives like the one I launched for Elsevier, “ScienceDirect” in the Americas, librarians really did not have great usage stats to assist them in their annual review program.

 One of the key factors that I stressed to our customers was the significantly increased utility value they would receive with Elsevier’s subscription model for ScienceDirect.  In the print world they would have to buy multiple subscriptions of a popular journal.  In the digital world the limitations of print access are eliminated the utility value of a journal and or articles are greatly expanded.  Some time later we increased our digital offering with the introduction of the “Freedom” collection.  This allowed an institution to gain access to additional journals at a fraction of the cost.  The Freedom Collection the researcher to search across wider collections of journals/articles.  These plans allowed the librarian community to leverage their investment in scholarly journals and provide more content and value to their community.

 Consortia’s grew consistently over the ten-year period 1996 – 2006 and each participating institution was able to further leverage their access to additional scholarly content at cents on the dollar

Unfortunately, as the recessions (2001 and 2008) hit our economy, the budget pressures on the library were further exacerbated and the “Big Deal” became the “Big Villain”.  The Big Deal in my opinion was a very easy target as the librarians discounted the publisher’s arguments that it provided the consortium members access to a “huge” amount of content, some of which that was cancelled due to their previous budget constraints.

As the Counter statistics indicate, the utility value of the subscribed content has exploded over the last 10 – 15 years.  The library community has benefited from the “Big Deal”, in the face of their budget cuts however the serial crisis is still a serious problem for the entire scholarly publishing industry.  The scholarly publishing community (Publishers, academic institutions, researchers, etc., must come together to solve this puzzle.  I say puzzle as the pieces to solve the puzzle are there in front us, but the community must decide what pieces will comprise the new puzzle.

I would suggest that advertising will play a role in the new model to alleviate some of the financial burden and challenges facing the scholarly industry.  The role for advertising will need to be defined and will require experimentation.

Subscriptions are very good for the scholarly publishing industry but there must be a balance between cost and the utility value received by the academic community.  As I said the pieces to the puzzle are in front of us and collectively we must work together to put the new puzzle together.


March 24, 2013

Leadership is a topic on everyone’s agenda.  Whether you are the president of the United States, the CEO of a major corporation, a coach of a team or a local community leader; we hear about leadership and its importance to the success of an organization.

There have been authors who have written many books on the topic of leadership from Jim Collins, John Maxwell, to the late Stephen Covey,just to name a few.  The importance of this topic cannot be underestimated as leadership is essential to the success of any organization.  Often times when the business reporting community is doing a post mortem on the failings of a corporation, most of the time it is due to poor leadership at the top.

What is leadership and why is leadership so important?  These topics as well as information on new technology, key industry developments and other related leadership subjects will be my focus.

Often time’s people think that leadership operates in a vacuum and is only reserved for the top leaders in an organization.   Leadership can and should be practiced at every level and within each department of an organization.  We all have experienced poor customer service in all walks of life.  Poor leadership reinforces poor customer service.

Over the last 30+ years, I have had the opportunity to work with some the world’s most dynamic and prolific organizations: Xerox, Dow Jones & Co., Elsevier, Collexis and AIP  During these stints, I was able to further develop and refine the principles of building high performing teams, the consultative sales process and customer service.   To further enhance my professional development, my colleague, John Hoffman and I created Seton Hall University’s first Consultative Sales Course for the Stillman School of Business.  Since 2009, John and I have taught this highly touted course to both undergraduates and MBA students.

Leadership has always been a top of mind topic for me.  From participating in sports, having a professional career to volunteering for a charity organization; leadership is very important as the leader sets the goals, the tone, the strategy and the culture.

Back in March of 2009, I produced and moderated a Brown Bag Lunch session for the Software Information Industry Association (SIIA) titled,  “Building High Performance Teams in a Tough Economy.”  The 90-minute panel discussion was riveting as I had four industry experts discussing our topic with a focus on leadership.

After the panel, I felt that there was an abundance of valuable material that we had explored, but also so much more to cover.  This inspired me to create a radio show on WSOU 89.5FM / titled,  “Leadership with Darrell W. Gunter.“ For nearly four years, I have had the privilege and opportunity to interview CEO’s, politicians, authors, educators, local leaders and Ph.Ds.

Based on the panel, I also created a presentation titled, “Building a High Performing Team.”  This presentation has been well received by the attendees of Vistage and the attendees of the CEESE annual meeting

Leadership is about consistency, fairness, process, procedures, performance metrics, managing people, leading people, educating people, training and service.  These are just a few of the attributes that we will cover within Leadership the Blog.

Thank you for your time and attention to this topic and I look forward to hearing from you. Please send your comments and suggestions to

The Start of something new in NY!

March 18, 2013

The Start of something new in NY!


This pass Friday I had the opportunity to attend the inaugural START NY 2013 conference ( produced by Paddy Cosgrove of the F.ounders organization.  This is the same organization that put on the F.ounders conference ( that received rave reviews from the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and CNN.   The Wall Street Journal wrote, “It was a conference that exceeded the hype.”  The same can be said of the START NY 2013 conference! 




When Paddy Cosgrove first contacted me, he invited me to attend a cocktail gathering of entrepreneurs in early February; unfortunately, I was in Washington, DC attending the PSP annual meeting  The next week I received a note of apologies to the people who were turned away as the event was packed at capacity. 


Afterwards I received a personal email from Paddy inviting me to attend the START NY 2013 event.  So I clicked on the link to the site to register only to find that I needed to apply to attend this event.  I thought it was just a marketing ploy to get me more interested in the event. Within one day someone from the F.ounders organization in Dublin, Ireland contacted me.  The young man asked me a couple of questions.  First, “Why did I want to attend the event?  Second, what would I contribute to the conference?”  After successfully answering the questions, I was invited to register for the event.


Up to this point my experience with the F.ounders organization was outstanding and my expectations were very high.  Upon arriving at the location Centre 548, located at 548 West 22nd Street in New York City., I was intrigued by the layout.  First off there is a very cool old school warehouse elevator.  The event was held on three different floors.  Registration was on the second floor along with the helpdesk, coat check and Round Table discussion section.  The third floor housed the Village of companies exhibiting their products or services.  Microsoft, Rackspace, PayPal, Moon Toast and Invest Northern Ireland just to name a few of the 30+ companies present.  In addition to the cool companies exhibiting there were a few food and beverage vendors serving free samples of their food or beverage.  I did taste the fare of and it was delicious. 


The food and beverages were also served on this floor and you could feel the electricity as the CEO attendees were brimmed with enthusiasm, excitement and exuberance!  The conference was held on the fourth floor and the seating was quite limited (approximately 100+ seats) and probably on purpose as each session was standing room only.     


Every speaker and panel discussion was outstanding!  This was hands down the best event that I have attended over the last 24 months.  The event kicked off with Jeff Clavier of SoftTech VC, who provided a very candid overview of the criteria that his firm uses to evaluate start-ups.  The three criteria is the strength of the founders, great product and a great market.  The cool thing about this conference was that each speaker made themselves available in the Village (3rd floor) and was quite approachable.  After Jeff’s interview he was in the Village and quite a few people grabbed his ear including me!  This was the first conference that I have attended where the speakers were quite accessible to the attendees.  To keep the day moving, they had a mixture of speakers, interviews and panels that ranged from 30 to 20 to 15 minutes.  The topics ranged from raising money to growing your company, Understanding your competition, the Hype machine (marketing) and the Evolution of the VC – More than money.  Each of these panels featured the industry stars and leaders.  Wesley Chan of Google Ventures, Tim Forster of KPMG, John O’Farrell of Andreessen Horowitz and Jim Robinson of RRE Ventures just to name a few of All-Star speakers. 


Another phenomenal interview was Scott Harrison’s (Charity: water) interview of Lady Gaga’s manager Troy Carter, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Atom Factory,  Mr. Carter discussed his humbling experience in being fired by his mentor then rising to top of his industry with all of the lesson’s learned.  This interview was a great symbol of this START NY 2013 conference as the speakers spoke from the heart about their experience and what hurdles they would face and suggestions as to how they can overcome them.


Simultaneously, in the afternoon there were round table discussions with selected speakers from the conference.  You needed to register in advance, as the seating was limited.  These 30-minute sessions allowed the CEO entrepreneurs to ask the speaker key questions on the selected topics.  I attended the round table discussion on Growing Pains and was hosted by Matt Williams of Andreesen Horowitz.  Ten entrepreneurs attended the discussion and the discussion was candid, frank, informative and helpful.


The day wrapped up with WIRED UKs David Rowan’s interview of David McClure of 500 Startups and finished with a awesome cocktail hour and then the attendees were bused for the “Full Blown Party at 230 Fifth,


My time at START NY 2013 flew by, I found myself constantly moving between the speakers and the networking.  I found both activities to be quite riveting.  Every attendee was a dynamic and inspiring CEO entrepreneur.  The interview to attend the event definitely achieved its purpose.


 If you are an entrepreneur I urge you to seek out Paddy Cosgrove and his F.ounders organization as they are very organized and focused on helping entrepreneurs to get the best level information about starting, running, growing and determining their best exit opportunities.  START NY 2013 is the great start of a new event in New York and I expect to see great things from this organization and conference.ImageImage


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