If you are like me, you have already begun planning your holiday gifts and presents to your friends and family. You may have a sports card lover among them or someone who is super passionate about sports in general. Since trying to buy sports card related items for sports card lovers is intimidating, I put together a list of items which may be helpful to you this holiday season.

© Joshua Lamson Photography

I have broken this list out by the no regrets list, subscriptions to services and gifts for children. None of these other than my own website, Midlife Crisis Cards contacted me…


As mentioned in previous posts, I have spent time as both a collector and an investor in the sports card space. As a collector, my 1400+ card modern collection is here, e-commerce site here, and my Insta handle is @midlifecrisiscards. I’m a fan of the early 90s Skybox cards, the more recent Panini Status cards, and recently focused on picking up Lebron James high-school SPX and Upper Deck cards and some Michael Jordan North Carolina cards.

As an investor, I have made two angel investments in the space so far, and one of them recently publicly launched, called Loupe. It…


There is at least $1B in sports card industry sales. Have you ever wondered who all the players are that make up the sports card industry?

I cannot promise you I have covered everyone, but I have created a Sports Card Market Map as I have begun to dive back into the hobby after a 30-year hiatus.

My intention of diving back into the hobby is pure: I love sports, and I used to collect cards as a kid. Now I have children of the age that can appreciate cards, I am ready to share my passion with them.


Me holding up a basketball card
Me holding up a basketball card
© Darren Herman 2020

It all started roughly 30 years ago when I began to receive baseball, hockey, and basketball cards as gifts for my birthday. Back then, the card packs we would receive had sticks of gum in them that we had no idea who touched or added… but boy, did they taste good.

A few friends got into sports cards too, and together, we would go to the Westchester County Center every so often and attend a sports card show. At the time, we were kids with pocket money walking around the mostly adult cottage industry of sportscard collecting. …


Put simply: scarcity breeds wantedness.

Wantedness creates opportunities for the PPC framework: product, partnerships, and community, as mentioned in Operating Partner #142 (reposted here on Medium).

Have you seen the demand for Yeezy sneakers? Check out Yeezy Mafia or Yeezy Supply. What does Yeezy get…


© 100 Thieves

If you were to name three extremely hot consumer brands today, you might very well select Fortnite (Epic Games), 100 Thieves, and MSCHF. Each of these brands has a loyal and passionate community and leverages a different playbook than what you might typically see from other consumer marketers.

For those unfamiliar:

  • Fortnite is a video game, entertainment platform, and social community that has amassed hundreds of millions of players. Just last week, Fortnite hosted a Travis Scott concert, and there were over 12M concurrent viewers.
  • 100 Thieves is a “premium lifestyle brand and gaming organization.” 100 Thieves is as famous…


This was originally posted in my weekly newsletter, The Operating Partner. You can subscribe here.

P&G and Unilever powered the early days of television. With their ad spend (and sponsored content), media companies underwrote and helped produce shows for mass audiences.

Both pricing and measurement were straightforward in those early days. Because TV and radio spots were finite, prices for them rose as TV viewership grew. Meanwhile, measurement could be reduced to two factors: frequency (the number of people who tuned in) and reach (the number of times you reached each person). Pretty easy to quantify, right? (Ha!)

Many years…


Big Brother Is Watching via Pinterest

I have not posted on Medium in a while. I hope to change that. With that said, below is a copy of a post I wrote in my weekly email letter called The Operating Partner. I think you will enjoy it — and if so, subscribe to my OP letter for more content like it. I have recently been writing about Amazon as well.

This post is about AT&T vs. Verizon. Frankly, it could be about any carrier who wants to deposition the others. I hope you enjoy.

I would venture to guess that 100% of the people reading this…


Blue Sky Opportunity

I left Mozilla in December of 2015. Since then, you might have heard from me, or read on Business Insider, that I was working to create a modern marketing network — that’s true. I had an extraordinary opportunity to cofound that company with someone I have admired since I first interned for him in the late 90s. As sometimes happen in the startup world, on our journey of starting this new company, something unexpected happened and things changed for me.

I am excited to announce that I am joining Bain Capital Private Equity as its first digitally-focused Operating Partner. My…


Here is a post about some companies that I’m following these days ever since I left Mozilla. We talk a lot about the largest marketing services players such as WPP, Omnicom, Publicis, and IPG but there is a whole new crop of emerging platforms arriving on the scene.

If you are into advertising and marketing, then this list should be completely relevant. If you are a Wall Street analyst and you’re covering the publicly traded advertising holding companies, this should be relevant as well.

This list is in no particular order.

You & Mr. Jones: Created by the former CEO…

Darren Herman

Bridging Madison Avenue with Silicon Alley/Valley (and everywhere in between)

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