Today’s Show Recap

Thanks for listening to Makin’ It. On this week’s episode, we talk about “American Idol” fraud, how much someone can own a YouTube channel, two new profiles in the Makin’ It Success Stories featuring Reed Hastings and Taikichiro Mori and, finally, on Makin’ It or Breakin’ It, whether or not it’s good that Abercrombie & Fitch is ditching their sexy ads. Let us know what you think of the show in the comments section at the bottom of the page!

Let’s get ready to rock and roll!

Tommy, Todd and Brittany start the show talking about fraud on “American Idol.” Simon Fuller, one of the creators of “American Idol,” and Core Media Group have a legal battle over Fuller’s claimed $10 million. After the show’s final season, Core Media Group filed for bankruptcy, stating they owed $400 million in debts and couldn’t pay an earlier agreed upon amount to Fuller, who filed a motion on his behalf, believing much of the money has been hidden and is accusing Core Media Group of fraud. Fuller also believes he should have been part of the debtor committee who decided who gets paid the debts after the bankruptcy. The motion would allow the case to be investigated and have the matter reconsidered. Part of the problem lies in the fact that the average person doesn’t realize how much it costs to put on productions of “American Idol’s” caliber and, how difficult it is to maintain audiences due to competition to keep the money rolling in. Do you think Core Media Group should pay Fuller the $10 million? Do you think Core Media Group hid the money, or do you think it cost more than anyone thought to produce the show? Let us know in the comments section.

Next up, the gang discusses another legal matter involving a popular video game YouTube channel. Prior to becoming successful, investors invested 30% of the company’s worth, totaling $1,500. By 2012, the channel became very successful, some say worth millions and, others say billions. The investors and the owners, Brian Martin and Marko Princip, had a falling out, and the investors sued for their shares. A judge determined Martin and Princip had to pay their investors $18.6 million; however, they wanted to pay their investors in stock of the company, making it difficult to evaluate how much it was worth in 2012. The plaintiffs say that the stock wasn’t worth as much as the defendants were stating, and it wouldn’t cover the judgment. All considered, Google states that YouTube’s revenue alone is $104 billion, and that YouTube alone is evaluated between $80 and $100 billion. Therefore, the company’s stock couldn’t be worth the billions it is stating it is worth. Essentially, the Martin and Princip will have to pay up. Do you think someone can own part of another’s YouTube channel? Do you think Martin and Princip’s channel is really worth billions if YouTube is only worth $100 billion max? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

OMG Fact of the Week:
One pound of peanut butter can contain up to 150 bug fragments and five rodent hairs.

In the next segment of the show, Tommy, Todd and Brittany do another installation in the Makin’ It Success Story Profile Series. This week, they feature two profiles: Reed Hastings and Taikichiro Mori.

The first Makin’ It Success Story Profile for the show features Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings. Born in Boston, Hastings is among a long line of entrepreneurs before him who knew what it was like to be broke, even hitchhiking his way across Africa with $10 in his pocket after working in the Peace Corps. After his time in the Peace Corps, Hastings worked in adaptive technology, where he claims was where he learned the value of focus and that it is better to do one product well than create two mediocre ones. He then developed his own software company, Pure Software. Hastings cites that he learned how to strategize his company from kayaking: if you stare and focus on the problem, you are more likely to hit danger; if you stare at the still water, you will make what you want to happen, happen. Hastings finds it important to not listen to naysayers, which is another mark of an entrepreneur. However, like many innovators, Hastings found the challenges of being a CEO daunting, and he sold his software company to Atria software.

But his true mark came to him by having a solution to a common problem, another entrepreneurial mark. Facing late fees from an overdue movie rental, “Apollo 13,” Hastings was on his way to the gym when it hit him that movie rentals should be more like gym memberships, where you can rent month-to-month with no late fees. Thus, Netflix was born. In 1997, he partnered with Marc Randolph, even developing a streaming idea.

Also like other entrepreneurs, Hastings has a philanthropic side, with a focus on education in California. However, what’s probably most important to note about Hastings is how he and Netflix are changing the way people watch TV, even taking credit for the term “binge watching.” Just as linear TV stole radio’s dominance, Hastings focuses on delivering competitive content to Netflix’s members, all 83 million of them, as a drive to pull them away from linear TV, which is not without its challenges. Compelling content is expensive, costing them about $6 billion when Netflix earns $6.78 billion in revenue. And, the competition is fierce, even including YouTube.

What makes Hastings an inspiring entrepreneur was his ability to see a solution out of available ideas in addition to his constant drive to change the way we entertain ourselves. What do you think of Reed Hastings? Let us know in the comments section.

Our second Makin’ It Success Story Profile for the show features Taikichiro Mori. Although Mori passed away in 1993, he is an inspirational entrepreneur because he is proof it is never too late to become successful. Initially a professor with a background in economics, Mori inherited a small building company from his father when he was 55 years old and became the biggest landlord in Tokyo and, eventually, the world’s richest man in 1992, worth $13 billion. While in 2016, $13 billion isn’t close to the wealthiest person in the world, Mori would have at least made the Forbes list today.

Mori earned his place by renovating areas of Tokyo that had been devastated by natural disasters. His move not only got his name all over Japan, but changed Tokyo’s skyline and improved Japan’s economy, proving that the price of progress is that things have to change. Knowing finance and economics at least at a basic level is another mark of an entrepreneur, and Mori was no exception as his background in economics proved largely important to his success.

What makes Mori an inspirational entrepreneur is that he was a late bloomer, proving that it is never too late to become a success, even the richest person in the world. What do you think of Taikichiro Mori? Let us know in the comments section.

Finally, Tommy, Todd and Brittany end up the show with the Makin’ It or Breakin’ It segment. This week, they talk about Abercrombie & Fitch’s decision to get rid of its sexy persona by eliminating the photos of suggestive models from their stores, their shopping bags and their gift cards in addition to replacing the employee names of “hot women” and “sexy guys” to “brand representatives.” The move stems from all the controversy from the CEO’s body shaming comments about how the store doesn’t sell to fat or uncool kids. The decision was ultimately made for the business rather than morality even though the sexy ads were what revitalized the Abercrombie & Fitch brand in the past. Bottom line is that sex sells and, eventually another company is destined to bank on the sensual advertising. What do you think of Abercrombie & Fitch’s decision? Do you think sex sells clothing? Let us know in the comments section.

Thanks for tuning in to Makin’ It. Let us know what you think of the show and if you have questions about your business, send us an email at or leave us a comment below. We love to hear from our listeners and we read comments on the air. We just might choose yours for next week’s show (so don’t forget to tune in!).

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Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs:

Order Tommy’s new book, The Way of the Rich at,, and

To learn more about Reed Hastings, click here.

To learn more about Taikichiro Mori, click here.

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