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Playboy: The Success Story Of Hefner’s Empire

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Do you know about the most read men’s magazine which has been popular for more than four decades? The sales for a single issue of this magazine hit seven million by the early 1970s. Sounds familiar, right? Every other man was holding a copy this magazine back then. Any guesses? We are speaking about the most sold magazine of all times Playboy. Hugh Hefner and his remarkable magazine Playboy solely changed the story of the adult entertainment industry and became a multimillion dollar business endeavour that expanded to incorporate television, web ventures, clubs and more. The magazine was a game changer in the era of ‘70s where people were more conscious of what is being displayed and what’s not.

Playboy’s founding story

Hugh Hefner, the founder of the epic magazine had first shown his interest in publication at an early age. In high school he founded his school’s newspaper taking it as an opportunity, young Hefner illustrated his own comic book, School Daze. Although he had a high IQ of 152, Hefner was never really spirited about school, in general. However, after completing his schooling, Hefner joined the United States Army. Later, he went on to attend classes at the Chicago Art Institute. After two years at the Art Institute, Hefner attended the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in the year 1950. It was in the year 1952, Hefner started working as a cartoonist for the famous Esquire magazine. While working there, he was turned down for a $ 5 raise, he took it to heart and decided to quit his job at the publication. He went on to venture out on his own and the rest we know is history! In 1953, Hefner founded Playboy magazine using his $ 600 bucks and several thousand more he borrowed including $ 1,000 from his mom.

The rise and fall and rise of Playboy

The first issue of Playboy published in December 1953. The magazine featured nude photos of Marilyn Monroe and sold over 50,000 copies. As we all know, controversial stuff sells fast! Playboy had its strategies right and by the year 1958, the magazine’s annual profit was $ 4 million and Hugh Incredible Hefner had skyrocketed to fame. Over the years, apart from controversial stuff, Playboy’s publication of writers including Ray Bradbury, Ian Fleming, Joseph Heller, Jack Kerouac and Margaret Atwood became famous overnight. Also, Miles Davis was the magazine’s first interview. Other interviews included Fidel Castro, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando and the then presidential candidate Jimmy Carter, who confided that he had committed adultery in his heart. John Lennon before dying had spoken to Playboy in 1980 as well. Playboy became known for its sexually explicit content. By 1970, Hugh Hefner had gone from beginning an entrepreneurial endeavour in his own home to being the founder of a major corporation. The distribution of the magazine was extensively done and copies were selling at rates of seven million copies per month. The year 1972 earned Hefner a twelve million dollar profit.

The magazine’s monthly distribution was reaching new heights. Yes! An enormous 7 million issues were sold in 1971. By that time, nearly one quarter of  American young lads were buying or subscribing every month, according to a source. However, post that, Playboy saw a downfall in the late ‘80s and the franchise was struggling hard to reach out to the people. In the year 1994, Hefner established the Playboy Jazz Film Festival, funded by Playboy. The festival was the first showcase on the West Coast for rare jazz films and was free to the public. The franchise was slowly and steadily gaining its pace. Nevertheless, Hefner’s brainchild was back with a bang in the early 2000s with the release of his reality television show on E!. The program The Girls Next Door portrayed the lives of his three blonde girlfriends at the Playboy Mansion. The series was a super hit and doubled the popularity of Hefner between the years 2005 to 2010.

In the year 2017, Hefner died in Los Angeles at the age of 91. At the time of his death, Hefner’s global brand had an estimated net worth of at least $ 110 million. As of now, Playboy earns most of its money by licensing the bunny brand for a variety of products including liquor, clothing, fragrances, jewellery and bath products.

Cooper Hefner, Hefner’s son and the Chief Creative Officer of Playboy Enterprises, said in a statement …my father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom. He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history.

Watch the success story of Playboy here,

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Wallmantra: This Indian Startup Is Upping The Home Interior Decor Game With Their Modern Designs

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Wallmantra, Wallmantra Indian Startup, Home Interior Decor Game, Home Modern Designs, Startup Stories, Collection of Wall Decor Products, Interior Decor Designs, Online Marketplace WallMantra, Best Wall Paintings, WallMantra Decoration Items, Wallmantra Founder, Wallmantra Latest News

India was always home to some of the oldest and most diverse art forms which have received a lot of international attention over the years.  The advent of internet technology and smartphones meant these art forms have found a new lease of life.  Wallmantra, an Indian startup is at the forefront of bringing these artforms to homes all over the world and India with their humongous modern variety of home and interior decor designs.  Ever since designing and selling affordable wall and interior decor out of their own online marketplace WallMantra has come a long way.

WallMantra was founded in 2013 focusing solely on an online presence.  Wallmantra has more than a thousand unique products which are listed on their website which means customers are simply spoilt for choice.  But what sets Wallmantra apart from their competitors is they have ownership of end-end processes right from design and procurement to sales and shipping and therefore have complete control over quality and timely delivery.  This Make In India startup focuses on design which brings out the best in interior spaces while every product is designed keeping in mind its utility and space requirement.

Mandala Designer Multi Layer Wooden Wall Clock

The beautiful designer Wooden Wall Clock time piece is made of birch wood, hand painted with high-quality paint.

Wallmantra has a very unique range of products like Wall Aquariums- a new and easy way to keep fishes in house, 3D Frames-layers design with LED, Garden Shelves-a short of portal Garden in your house, Wall Shelves-designs inspired from real life characters, Wooden Wall Hangings, designer clocks, and many more and all of which can be accessed through their website.  The website is quite responsive on mobile and desktop with clear division of products in defined categories.  Some of their best selling products include a Planter Shelf Wall Hanging, Mandala Designer Wall Clock, a Golden Buddha Canvas Painting and a Deer Do It Yourself (DIY) Painting Kit.

 

Ship Shape Wood Wall Shelf

This exquisite Ship shape Wall Shelf brings a unique decor for your bare walls with a great utility.

Although the entire world has been coming to terms with the COVID-19 pandemic, Wallmantra have shown no signs of stopping and in fact have used this crisis as an opportunity to expand their operations as well as  generating a whole lot of employment responding to Govt’s call for #VocalForLocal and #AtmanirbharBharat.  Wallmantra has trained a workforce consisting of  restaurant workers, contract teachers, factory workers giving them an opportunity to learn new skills.  Wallmantra has expanded, hired and trained a workforce of more than 100 people and is still continuing to expand steadily.  This is due to several factors but the most important one being its complete online marketplace.  Wallmantra has also expanded its presence into the social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram which contributed largely to their growth.  

So head over to their Facebook, Instagram and their website to browse their huge collection of various interior and wall decor products to brighten up your house.  Wallmantra is committed to providing an artistic touch and elevating the interiors of your home.

 

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How Do IPL Franchises Make Money

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How Do IPL Franchises Make Money

If there is one thing that every Indian and every cricket fan waits for all year, it is the Indian Premier League, which is the world’s biggest cricketing league.  Professional cricket players from all over the world vie to get selected by one of the eight franchises which compete in the league.  The entire league is a star studded affair and Indians manage to forget their differences and band together for all the time the league is aired.  Each franchise boasts of a loyal fan following who have supported their teams through thick and thin ever since IPL was inaugurated in 2008.  While the entire league is a melting pot of entertainment and competition, have you ever wondered how the franchises make money in IPL?  In this article we will decode the business models behind the IPL teams and how they earn money.

Franchises need to bid for players every year before the start of the IPL season in an auction.  Each franchise has a maximum spend limit of Rs. 80 crores to buy players in the auction.  Apart from buying players each franchise also needs to bear the cost of travel, support staff and logistics.  The following are the different avenues from which franchises earn money.

1) Sponsorships

Franchises earn a major chunk of their revenue from sponsorships, but they do not get the money from sponsorships directly.  The IPL governing council gets money from sponsors and in the case of this year it is from Dream 11, which is the title sponsor while VIVO was the title sponsor last year.  All the money which is earned from sponsorships is divided into a ratio of 60:40 with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) retaining 40% of the sponsorships.  The remaining 60% is distributed among the ten franchises.  BCCI owns and operates the IPL in India.  The ratio of distribution might change in the coming years depending on the decisions taken by the BCCI.

2)  Media rights

Broadcasting companies bid for the media rights and the winning bid will get to air the IPL on their channel.  Star India bagged the media rights for IPL with a bid of Rs. 16,345 crores for five years (2018-2022.)  The money from media rights are also distributed in the 60:40 ratio with BCCI keeping 40% and the franchises getting an equal distribution from the remaining 60%.

3) Franchise sponsors

Each franchise has its own dedicated sponsors which pay a huge amount of money to the franchise.  The logos and names of the companies which you can see on the sporting attire of every IPL team are actually the dedicated sponsors of their respective franchises.  The profit from dedicated sponsors depends on the deal the franchise has made with their sponsor. The income generated from dedicated sponsors might differ from team to team.

ALSO READ: 5 Cricketers Who Are Entrepreneurs

4) Sale of tickets

Each franchise can choose a home ground from the available venues in the BCCI roster like Sunrisers Hyderabad, choosing Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders choosing Kolkata.  Only the home franchise can fix the price of tickets for the matches happening in their home ground.  Bigger stadiums with large seating capacity earn the most from ticket sales.  Kolkata Knight Riders home ground Eden Gardens has the highest seating capacity in India and therefore KKR earns the most from ticket sales.  

5) Merchandising

Each franchise makes some money by selling official jerseys, caps, wrist watches, souvenirs etcetera.  The merchandise is sold through the official franchise websites.

6) Prize money

Franchises battle it out in a long season to become the winner of the IPL season.  The winning team also wins a hefty prize money which is an additional source of revenue.  In 2019, the winning franchise won Rs. 15 crores while the runner up won Rs. 10 crores.

IPL is a big stage for franchise owners to earn their revenues as well as the perfect opportunity for players to make their mark and win big auctions.  This is how franchises earn their revenues from the IPL.  As this year’s edition is off to a flying start, IPL has been a blessing in disguise for millions of Indians in the gloomy times we currently are experiencing.  

 

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From A Contestant To A Judge On Shark Tank, The Journey Of Ring Founder Jamie Siminoff

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From A Contestant To A Judge On Shark Tank, The Journey Of Ring Founder Jamie Siminoff

Shark Tank is an American reality show where hopeful entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of investors.  It is a great show from which entrepreneurs can learn a great deal about how to secure investments for their venture.  The reality show is based on a concept where aspiring entrepreneurs present their business ideas to a panel of investors and convince them to invest in their startups.  Ventures like Tipsy Elves, Simple Sugars, Scrub Daddy and Bombas are some of the successful companies which benefited from Shark Tank.  However, Jamie Smininoff and his company Ring takes the crown for the best ever Shark Tank product even though Jamie Siminoff could not secure an investment from any of the sharks.  Jamie Siminoff and his company Ring have ever since grown by leaps and bounds so much so that Ring was acquired by Amazon for one billion dollars.

Backstory

Jamie Siminoff founded Ring, a startup which is a Wi-Fi enabled video doorbell company, from his garage.  While spending long hours in his work space, he became frustrated that he was unable to answer the doorbell without being interrupted.  Siminoff began looking for a doorbell that rang to his phone and was surprised to find that there was nothing like it on the market.  It was then Jamie began working on his idea to make a product which will enable a homeowner to see who is at their door on their cell phone.  Jamie was rejected by more than 200 investors when he pitched his idea for Door Bot as Ring was then used to be called before being rebranded.  By the time Jamie decided to go to Shark Tank, he had zero dollars in his bank account and everything was riding on his pitch to the Sharks.

In 2013, an acquaintance gave the email id of a Shark Tank producer to Jamie and he eventually decided to send a cold email without any hope for a response.  However, the response did come, Siminoff and the DoorBot went through a legal review, then were vetted thoroughly by the producers of the show.  They then went to filming, but Siminoff was told not to get his hopes up because only a small percentage of the products actually make it on the air. DoorBot, however, made the cut.

But, none of the Sharks invested in Jamie’s idea and talking about the incident Jamie said “I was convinced going on that I was going to get Mark Cuban to invest. and he was just like, “Jamie, it’s great, but I’m out.” And I was like, “Oh.” And then it kind of went down the line and everyone went out, and I went back to my garage broke and broken.  It was a tough day (sic.)”

ALSO READ: Lessons Every Entrepreneur Can Learn From Shark Tank

Way Forward

However Jamie Siminoff’s appearance on Shark Tank worked wonders in terms of brand visibility and advertising.  Jamie said “The credibility and the awareness that Shark Tank brought was probably worth $10 million of ads.  It really launched us (sic.)”  Jamie’s first break came when a Ring owner visited billionaire Richard Branson’s private island.  Branson watched, with fascination, when the guest remotely talked to a delivery person standing at his doorstep at home through Siminoff’s doorbell.  Branson got on a call with Siminoff and invested an undisclosed amount of money.  However, Ring’s biggest boost came in the form of Basketball star Shaquille O’Neal who moved to a new house in Atlanta.  Shaq was looking for a big security company but upon being overcharged he looked on Best Buy and ended up stumbling on Ring.  A few years later Shaq formally met with Jamie Siminoff at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and after some discussion ended up being the spokesperson for Ring.  Since then, Ring has cornered the doorbell market in America.  Shaq and Jamie used to go around to personally install Ring devices and it made a huge splash in the news.

But Jamie Siminoff’s crowning achievement arrived in February 2018 when Amazon announced the purchase of Ring for one billion dollars which was a shock for many investors including the Shark Tank Judges who declined to invest in Door Bot.  Siminoff said he sold to Amazon because it was a good fit for all involved, as backing by the tech giant means that Ring can further its mission of creating safer neighborhoods.

In what can be called a full circle, Jamie was once again invited to be a part of Shark Tank but this time as a guest Shark.  Talking about the experience Jamie said “Yeah, and it’s a funny thing, because I am now a shark on Shark Tank, and I was on both sides, and so I feel the empathy for peoples’ businesses, but at the same time, I’m also a real investor there, and it’s my money, so from the numbers side, if I’m going to invest $800,000, or whatever, in a business, that’s real money, and so I need to see what is really going on with the business (sic.)” 

“Overall, this is a full-circle moment (sic,)” Siminoff said.  “I now get the opportunity to give back to the very platform that allowed me to achieve my American dream (sic.)”

Despite Amazon owning Ring, Jamie still continues to steer the company until his vision for safe neighbourhoods is fulfilled.  This is the story of Jamie Siminoff who has against all odds achieved his American Dream and will inspire new entrepreneurs to never give up on their ideas.

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