Ronn Torossian

Just to show you how powerful maintaining  your reputation online actually is, Ronn Torossian discusses the stepping down of one of tech’s biggest CEO’s. Recently, the dating website OkCupid played a role in bringing down one of the internet’s most powerful CEO’s, Mozilla’s Brendan Eich. Brendan Eich, who was pivotal in developing some of the world’s most cutting edge technologies, resigned under pressure. Eich was the CEO of Mozilla, the force behind the extremely popular Firefox web browser and creator of technologies such as JavaScript. 

Mozilla announced Eich’s resignation via a blog post. They explained that their organizational culture reflects diversity and inclusiveness, but Eich’s support of Proposition 8 did not match their views. Mozilla noted that Eich – who was only named CEO a few weeks earlier -  made the decision to resign on his own, “for Mozilla and our community.”

Eich was felled because he once donated money to support Proposition 8, the California measure that worked to ban same-sex marriages. Eich donated $1,000 in 2008, and today says he is not sorry that he did. Eich’s support for Proposition 8 became public immediately after he took the helm of Mozilla, and the public’s reaction was swift. Soon, it was evident that Mozilla was facing the backlash.

How did it happen? OkCupid published an open letter that was visible only to its clients who visited the site via Firefox. It called out Eich, and explained that clients would not be able to use Mozilla to access their website.

OkCupid was not the only company to show their support of gay rights, and their opinion that Eich should step down or let Mozilla face the public’s scrutiny. Backlash on Twitter drew Mozilla’s notice, too, as did outrage from Mozilla’s employees.

While this is not the norm–asking CEO’s to step down due to their lack of support of gay rights, it may help to create a real dialogue among corporations about whether their board’s personal beliefs should in any way affect their hiring choices.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5W PR in New York City.

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game of thrones marketing

It  is the perfect mixture of intrigue, violence, love and hope. And we’re getting at least two more seasons of it – says Ronn TorossianCEO of 5wpr. Game of Thrones has proven to HBO and the viewers that they’re around for the long haul, or at least for six seasons, which they fully deserve. In order to have a proper “long winter”, it should at least be that long, right?

The shows popularity has grown throughout the years, and is well-deserved. Without shoving too much down the viewers throat of mystical creatures and unrealistic occurrences, Game of Thrones paces the viewer through each episode and season, making the newly added changes seem completely plausible and realistic. If you look back at the first few seasons to where we are now, it would seem almost unbelievable. How the plots have thickened!
The end of last season, specifically the “Red Wedding”, left many viewers feeling a mixture of dread and excitement for things to come. This series is filled with war, violence, sex, and lies, the perfect mixture of what people are looking for in a TV show. But what makes this series really special is the character development. It has proven to be too difficult to pick one favorite character, as they all have good and bad traits. What keeps it interesting is that they keep on killing major players and adding new ones along the way. And this probably won’t stop; war is dirty and people die.HBO has a habit of cutting shows around season six, which is good and bad, depending on who you’re talking to. Most HBO series are dramatic and if they continue for too long they become long-winded. In order for Game of Thrones to make it past the six-season mark, they need to keep a perfect balance of suspense and intrigue. Considering that the show is based off of the book series by George R. R. Martin called Song of Fire and Ice, the viewers should at least see how it’s all going to end, and not get axed before it’s over with.

Could there be a possibility that Martin will just continue writing? The story line is based around a war that has been brewing for awhile, and many characters are fighting to sit on the Iron Throne in King’s Landing. Martin cannot have the war go on for too long because people will eventually lose interest, same as in real life. But there are many ways to keep us interested, and war doesn’t have to be the basis. Here’s to another two seasons – let’s keep them coming.

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Business Professional Mistakes

Mistakes Young Business Professionals do not have to make

As a young business professional, you have several things going for you. Determination, drive, health, strength and the opportunity to learn from other people’s mistakes. This last factor can decide the limits of your success potential. Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, looks at 4 business failures and breaks down the lessons you should learn.

#1 – Never ask a question you don’t want answered: In perhaps one of the worst Twitter ideas ever, JP Morgan announced the “askJPM” campaign. The intention was to open a dialogue with consumers in order to win back trust and respect. What the company got was rage, snark and yet more rage.

#2 – Refuse to adapt: Blackberry once ruled the smartphone universe. Now the company is a distant also-ran. Why? Simple. They completely refused to adapt to what consumers are looking for today and they vastly underestimated the crossover appeal of business applications for consumer smartphones.

#3 – Miss your chance: Ever heard of “Nouncer?” Most people probably haven’t. See, it’s the forerunner of Twitter that never actually got off the ground. Nouncer was in development long before microblogging even existed. The developers didn’t know how to explain it to consumers until AFTER other microblog services were released. Then they just used those business models to explain their own. “See, it’s just like…” is never a good way to introduce your “new” idea.”

#4 – Work outside your ability: Overto was an Internet service that grew quickly. At least, according to its founders, who said the company grew until they reached a level where they could no longer reach people “effortlessly.” They needed marketing savvy. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any, so the company tanked. To succeed you must have all the angles covered. You can’t just be great at ideas or tech or development or distribution; you have to be equally good at all of those things. One weak link is all it takes to crash and burn. The lesson here is to be sure your team is strong in all areas before trying to build something. Otherwise it will just fall down around you … no matter where the “weak” link happens to be.

Don’t take this list lightly. Those who stopped here just for entertainment are likely to miss the lesson and learn the hard way anyway. Don’t be that guy (or girl). Be the person who takes your potential and adds it to the wisdom of those who have made the mistakes you don’t have to. Don’t just stand on the shoulders of giants, watch out for the potholes that tripped up anyone who has traveled the road you’re on before you.

 

Every day entrepreneurs face different challenges – this career is so, as I can attest to every single day.  Wanted to share some of my favorite entrepreneurial quotes:

• “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” Nolan Bushnell

• “Every day you should push yourself to do more and to succeed bigger.” Henry Swieca

• “If it really was a no-brainer to make it on your own in business there’d be millions of no-brained, harebrained, and otherwise dubiously brained individuals quitting their day jobs and hanging out their own shingles. Nobody would be left to round out the workforce and execute the business plan.” Bill Rancic

• “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” Walt Disney

• “Failure is not about insecurity. It’s about lack of execution.” Jeffrey Gitomer

• “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.” Jeff Bezos

• “Entrepreneurship is the last refuge of the trouble making individual.” Natalie Clifford Barney

• “High expectations are the key to everything.” Sam Walton

• “Treating people well and having strong integrity are vital components for success.” Dr. Chauncey Crandall

• “You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.” Zig Ziglar

• “In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.” David Ogilvy

• “Entrepreneurs are risk takers, willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise. They willingly assume responsibility for the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets.” Victor Kiam

• “When you cease to dream you cease to live.”  Malcolm Forbes

• “Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you’re generally better off sticking with what you know. And the third is that sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make.” Donald Trump

• “I had to make my own living and my own opportunity! But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!” Madam C.J. Walker

• “You can’t ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” Steve Jobs

• “No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.” Reid Hoffman

• “Don’t be cocky. Don’t be flashy. There’s always someone better than you.” Tony Hsieh

• “The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to every evening think what can be done better tomorrow.” Ingvar Kamprad

• “Every day in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows that it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up, you better be running.” Christopher McDougall

Tweet me your favorite quote to @rtorossian5wpr

 

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Image via Yahoo! Sports

Spring Training is in full swing, and down in Tampa, the Yankees are getting geared up for the 2014 season without one of their biggest sticks. A-Rod is AWOL.

Ronn Torossian explains…Alex Rodriguez’s Grapefruit League locker remains open – and empty – but the Yankee star has yet to make an appearance in, or out of, uniform with the team this year. However, the disagreement that turned into a PR disaster for the All Star slugger took a step in the right direction for A-Rod recently with the announcement that he has dropped his lawsuit against Major League Baseball.

A-Rod had sued MLB and the players union back in January in a last ditch attempt to get his 162-game suspension overturned. The suspension was handed down after Rodriguez was found to have taken banned substances, and later tried to obstruct MLB’s investigation of the incident.

The substance issues were bad enough, but Rodriguez compounded them first by obstructing the investigation and then filing the suit. Fredric Horowitz, the arbitrator involved in the dispute, shortened Rodriguez’s suspension from 211 down to 162…and any playoff games in 2014.

A-Rod called the move one that was made in “bad faith,” and accused the union of not providing fair representation. The language of the suit caused some fans to accuse A-Rod of childishness, of whining when he should just fess up and take his medicine. And, this being New York, those were the nice things being said. Sure, Yankee fans want to see A-Rod back in a Yankee uniform, but they have little stomach for a season of distraction and complaining from a star that many said they won’t miss in the playoffs anyway.

And the issue could not have come at a worse time for Yankee public relations. Derek Jeter is retiring at the end of this season, and the Boys in Pin Stripes are eager to spend the year saying goodbye. Even still, Bronx born Ronn Torossian – and many other Yankees fans – are upset.

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