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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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Indian Actresses Who Have Made Recent Investments In Startups

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Any startup which begins with an idea will look to nurture it and develop it into a viable product.  This is followed by lots of testing with focus groups, until a final version of the product is ready.  However, most startups are more often than not bootstrapped and therefore run on a very stringent budget.  Therefore, startups often look to attract an investor for a fresh influx of money and also to scale up.  While there are many venture capital firms which are always on the lookout for exciting startups, Indian movie celebrities are also known to invest in promising startups.  

In this article, we give you a list of leading Indian actresses who have invested in startups recently.

1) Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone is one of the most alluring actresses of this generation.  Deepika invested in the popular yoghurt company Epigamia last year.  Her latest investment is into the learning and communication platform Frontrow.  The actress was joined by marquee investors like Lightspeed and Elevation Capital to invest $3.2 million in the startup.  Frontrow’s learning platform focuses on creative arts and sports and that is what attracted Padukone’s investment in this startup.

2) Kajal Aggarwal

Kajal Aggarwal picked up a stake recently in the gaming platform called Okie Gaming.  Kajal will be helping the startup in its promotions, marketing and PR and to attract new users to the platform.  Aggarwal picked up a 15% equity stake for an undisclosed amount of money.

3) Alia Bhatt and Katrina Kaif

Alia Bhatt invested an undisclosed amount in the beauty and cosmetic startup Nykaa.  Earlier in May 2020, Nykaa raised Rs. 100 crore ($13 million) from Steadview Capital, one of its existing investors.  Katrina Kaif also invested in Nykaa and also has her own line of products called Kay Beauty.  

ALSO READ: 5 Cricketers Who Are Entrepreneurs

4) Aishwarya Rai Bacchan

Aishwarya has been ruling the Indian movie industry since a long time, but has taken a step back from the limelight after her marriage to Abhishek Bachchan.  However, the actress has not been idle and has instead redirected her efforts to invest in promising ventures.  Aishwarya Rai Bachchan along with her mother Vrinda became angel investors in 2019.  They invested in Ambee, an environmental intelligence startup, which monitors air quality by gathering data– and have already installed over 100 sensors in Bengaluru.

5) Priyanka Chopra Jonas

Priyanka Chopra invested in the social networking and dating application Bumble in 2018 which was before Bumble had a presence in India.  While Bumble’s parent company MagicLabs was acquired by American based Blackstone, it is not confirmed whether Priyanka Chopra’s stake was bought out.  Priyanka Chopra continues to be involved with Bumble for their branding assignments.

6) Shilpa Shetty

Shilpa Shetty invested Rs. 1.6 crores in the fast moving consumer goods company Mamaearth which produces and sells skincare, haircare and babycare products. 

While this is just the list of actresses who have made recent investments in startups, there are a lot of movie celebrities who have invested in startups across the globe.  The startup ecosystem in India can take heart from the fact that movie stars are willing to align their brand with startups.  The future most definitely holds exciting prospects to see into what startups celebrities will be investing.

 

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Six Things Tesla Sells Other Than Cars

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Tesla is the leading car manufacturing firm which mainly focuses on automobiles which run on electricity powered by batteries.  The company name Tesla, is a tribute to Nikola Tesla who was an inventor and an electrical engineer, born in the Nineteenth Century.  Tesla, the company, is known for making cars which run on artificial intelligence and can navigate by itself and that is what sets it apart from other leading automobile brands.  Tesla cars are known for high customer satisfaction and also for cutting edge technology and design.  But it may come as a surprise to know that cars are not the only thing Tesla sells.  We have compiled a list of items Tesla sells or sold and some of them may come as a surprise.

1) Tesla Toy Model S

Tesla manufactures toy models of its famous Model S, for children to drive around and are made by Radioflyer.  The toy car is fully electric and even comes with a MP3 player.  The toy car comes in two modes one of which has a top speed of 6 mph or it can be a parent limited speed of 3 mph, which can be done with the flip of a switch.  The toy model retails at $ 600 a piece.

2) Tesla surfboards

Tesla sold surfboards which were limited to only 200 and made by a man named Matt “Mayhem” Biolos and produced by Lost Surfboards.  The surfboards sport the red and black finish of Tesla cars and were also reinforced with carbon fiber.  The surfboards were sold out quickly but ended up on ebay for more than twice the price they were purchased.  

3) Desktop Superchargers

Tesla is the leading designer of high speed superchargers and has nearly 13000 supercharging stations spread across the United States of America for charging Tesla cars.  Tesla made exact replica scale models which can be put on desks and can be used to charge cell phones.

ALSO READ: Six Innovations By Elon Musk

4) Power Banks

Powered by the same battery technology which made Tesla cars famous, the power banks can be used to carry wherever you go for your charging needs and cost $ 45 a piece.

5) Branded Apparel

Tesla also sells branded apparel for both men and women and they include jackets, sweatshirts, hats, beanies, sweaters, pullovers and shirts.  T shirts cost $ 35, long sleeve shirts are $ 40, hoodies, sweatshirts, sweaters, and pullovers range from $ 50-$ 95, and jackets go for between $ 120-$ 180.

6) Tesla Tequila

Tesla Tequila is the latest product to be listed on the Tesla website and retailed for $ 250 apiece.  The product which is sold in a sleek lightning shaped bottle has an interesting backstory.  Elon Musk tweeted the idea of “Teslaquila” on April Fool’s Day in 2018, which many of his followers considered a joke.  The name ran into trouble with Mexican Tequila producers because ‘Tequila’ is a protected word according to Mexico’s Tequila Regulatory Council.  

Bonus product:

Tesla Short Shorts

Tesla launched a limited edition shorts called as Tesla Short Shorts in June 2020 which retailed at $ 69.420.  The price has 420 which is a reference to marijuana and also referred to $ 420 a share price which Elon Musk suggested in 2018 to make Tesla a private equity firm once again.  The shorts were also a jab at the investors and short sellers.

Elon Musk is always known to come up with ideas like these on the spot when he feels the Tesla car sales are running low and there is a need for shoring up revenues.  It will be interesting to see what kind of products which Elon Musk will come up with in the future and they are guaranteed to grab eyeballs in true Elon Musk fashion.

 

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How to Promote Internationalization Through Remote Team Management

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Guest Post by Rio Fontanilla 

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely expedited the adoption of remote work strategies in an effort to maintain continuous business operations and profitability around the world.  Remote team management and the ability to enhance team communications in a work from home environment has become increasingly common.

Aside from this, the work from home setup has also made an indirect effect on the growing internationalization of the workforce.  As businesses move much of their operations online, the physical limitations of the traditional office setting have largely been blurred, allowing employers to source better suited talents from all over the world.  As more and more businesses adopt remote work as their primary mode of operations, particularly as the world plunges into the second wave of the pandemic, it is highly likely that remote collaboration will remain the new reality for years to come.

Internationalization of the workforce – Lost in Translation

With this opportunity comes a slew of challenges when it comes to managing a multilingual team remotely.

First, are the obvious physical hurdles that companies have to address such as being able to provide the right tools to employees or even something as basic as access to Internet infrastructure.  Even experienced team builders, HR heads, and operations managers would find sourcing the right hardware and software to support international collaboration different from furnishing one or two office spaces.  For this, the United States Chamber of Commerce has created an in depth report on how to create remote work policies that promote employee productivity and well being

But the greater challenge is being able to coordinate a team from different countries, not only overcoming geographical barriers and time differences, but more importantly overcoming language and cultural barriers.

This is why companies must put policies and initiatives in place to promote digital workplace internationalization. By working with experts, employers can make sure business processes across all verticals maintain productivity through multilingual support.

Employers must make sure that everyone in the company regardless of where they are in the world, what language they speak, or how big or small their teams are, must have the necessary tools and resources to carry on their tasks.  This means that everything including operations manuals; procedural guidelines; employee onboarding materials; handbooks; contracts; and even business related software and hardware must be standardized and be available in multiple languages.

It is then crucial for executives and teams leads to work with language, HR, and accessibility experts to formulate a standardized internal communications strategy that is clear, concise and culturally sensitive.  Companies should then make sure that this strategy would be implemented faithfully in all languages spoken within the organization.

Internationalization for Remote Multilingual Team Management

According to the University of California at Berkeley, human resources network, promoting productivity and teamwork requires clear goals and constant input from everyone in the team. Employers need to foster an open, digital workplace environment that is conducive to close collaboration and knowledge-sharing while promoting trust and cooperation among employees.

Understanding the implications of the internationalization of the organization is crucial in properly managing a multilingual team.  These concepts help foster a culturally sensitive approach towards not only customer facing communications but also internal communications as well.

The principles of internationalization and globalization are likely more familiar to marketing teams, but these principles are also relevant when dealing with international or multilingual remote teams as well.  A little bit of cultural sensitivity can go a long way towards cementing team member relations, even for remote and multilingual teams.  By promoting open communication among members of the organization, team leads will be able to clearly understand the hindrances to productivity and team cohesion.

To ensure better cultural and linguistic sensitivity, it is advisable for businesses to incorporate them into employee training and create initiatives that would celebrate the cultural diversity of the digital workplace.

Internationalization and multilingual communication

There may be occasions when the necessary team personnel has no capacity to communicate effectively with one another.  Tools and resources may be able to support multiple languages but human collaboration would often be a lot more limited.  Unless there is the off chance that everyone in the team is multilingual, there would definitely be misunderstandings and miscues along the way.

Perhaps the best way to avoid getting lost in translation during multilingual meetings and real time collaboration is by taking a page off of the United Nation’s book.  Many international organizations like the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and others have similarly resorted to software and hardware solutions for remote meetings like any other business, but utilize remote video interpreters in order to effectively communicate with one another.

While hiring professional interpreters or utilizing interpretation service providers may seem like a needless use of company resources, but by enabling clear and efficient communication among multilingual teams, businesses can eliminate miscommunication and essentially avoid potentially costly mistakes.

Communications consultant and author David Grossman, highlights the importance of a clear understanding of creating an effective and productive multilingual organization.  He notes that face to face conversations and feedback techniques are important in allowing one’s audience, in this case, the employees, to build a foundation of understanding.  This can only be done if the translation is done effectively.

Employees are generally more perceptive and open to providing well thought out input when they are allowed to speak freely in their native language.  In order to bolster the organization’s efforts to create an atmosphere for diverse ideas, leaders must incorporate translation or interpretation not only in core resources but also in everyday communication so that teams across different countries would not become segmented in silos.

While not all organizations find that the remote work setup works for their business model, many companies who have made the jump from brick and mortar, to mostly digital out of necessity would find that this new normal would better suit their goals for growth.  Digital transformation and internationalization provide agility and scalability of business expansion, allowing businesses to source the best human talents and resources as well as reach new consumers.  However, companies need to understand the operational and personal nuances of their internationalized workforce to be able to scale as efficiently as possible. To do so requires a heavy investment in providing employees with all the resources needed for them to perform their duties without language being an obstacle.

 

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