Latest episode of Bob Pittman’s podcast, Math & Magic: Stories From the Frontiers of Marketing, featuring Judy McGrath, Former CEO of MTV Networks and current Director on Amazon’s Board. Judy share insights from her front-row seat experiencing two business phenomena in one lifetime: MTV and Amazon, and how the two are similar in culture. Their focus on the value of vision and talent; the need for both curation and discovery; the power of invention and reinvention; and to always create for your consumer, not yourself.
Throughout the interview, McGrath also discusses her early years at Conde Nast, how she convinced advertisers to get behind “The Daily Show“ and “South Park” and the importance of always supporting your talent. Bob and Judy also discuss how the concept of Amazon’s Alexa was perceived and her initial reactions to the innovation.
Here are a few notable quotes from this week’s episode:
“If this many people think it’s a bad idea, I’m definitely going to do it, it has to be a good idea!” – McGrath on why she left Conde Nast for MTV
“I think it was another one of those things, dare I say like MTV, when you think like, ‘Oh my god? Yeah, that’s what I was waiting for.’ You know, someone who can, as they learned, can play music for me, and give me the weather and the news and is a voice and can talk to me…it goes back to the most basic thing: radio.” – McGrath on Amazon Alexa
“One of the things I love about Amazon, which is very much like we were (at MTV), is that they are, as we all know, relentlessly customer focused. And, they have a list of tenants and principles and they live by them. And, it is customer, customer, customer. And another one I like is ‘Day One.’ They want you to feel like this is the first day. This is a new idea. ‘What can we do today that’s different than what we did yesterday?’ Hence, Alexa, you know? So, I find their spirit of, ‘What can we invent?’ Is a major part of their DNA, and it moves fast.“ – McGrath on Amazon’s culture.