Ned Bittinger

The Business Side of Art

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The Billy McFarland Example

Billy McFarland is an idea man, but what sets him apart is the fact that he knows how to turn a good idea into a reality. One of his favorite statements is that one should keep moving fast and try out a lot of ideas. Out of several dozens of those attempts, four or five might turn out to be good, and then you can focus on those for further development.

The qualities which Billy McFarland extols began at age 13 when he started his first company, a search company that found customers for a local business. He started a company called Spling while in college as a freshman at Bucknell that is still in business.

Spling takes the URL of a company and makes it into a graphic, which is used to promote the brand and improve the content of the message for the business. McFarland is the CEO and sports clients such as Universal, Warner, Discovery and The Hearst Group.

In 2013, at age 23, McFarland birthed Magnises, a platform for millennials to be able to explore their surroundings and meet other people in diverse fields in the most natural settings possible. He did it by offering strong discounts at many of their favorite bars, restaurants, clubs, night spots, events, and other similar venues.

The primary operative is the Black Card, issued to each new member when they pay their $250 annual membership fee. The Black Card copies the information from the member’s credit or debit card. The Black Card is used to pay the bill at member businesses while applying the discount immediately.

At the end of 2015, there were over 10,000 members located in the two member areas of New York City and Washington D.C. Millennials love to congregate and share experiences, meet new people, brag about their exploits and make business contacts. Magnises has become the most natural way of doing that, and why not make all of this happen with attractive discounts and perks.

McFarland sees Magnises expanding to other cities, with Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta and London being the prime candidates. The ideas sound and working, so another opportunity is available. The millennials in other cities anxiously await the arrival of Magnises.