Adweek; 11/16/98, Vol. 39 Issue 46, IQ p8, 8p
BLOOMBERG LP DUNS Number: 942270000
BLOOMBERG, Michael R. -- Interviews
Presents an interview with Michael Bloomberg, founder of news organization Bloomberg. Business strategies; Impact of cross branding on sales in Saudi Arabia; Impact of the Internet on brand building efforts of businesses; Philosophy. Full Text Word Count:
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Business Source Corporate
Section: THE IQ Q&A
Bloomberg's founder says service, not technology, is the key to his company's success, Interview by Michael Schrage Michael Bloomberg's Bloomberg boxes have become an industry standard in a global financial services market where institutions pay a pretty premium for up-to-the-millisecond information and analytics.
Perhaps you've tuned into Bloomberg News Radio or read Bloomberg financial magazines. Maybe you've seen Michael Bloomberg's best-selling business autobiography, Bloomberg on Bloomberg. Sense a pattern here? Egomaniacal excess? Or just a man who has grown to love the challenge of building a global brand equity? The answer may lie in this interview.
For a man who made his fortune as a Salomon Bros. trader, Bloomberg has a branding sensibility that the equally eponymous Martha Stewart might envy. Less surprisingly, perhaps, he has an even keener sense for market opportunities and risk. You can take the man out of the trading desk but you can't take the trading desk out of the man.
More intriguingly, Bloomberg has built a global financial news organization that rivals Reuters and Dow Jones in terms of breadth, timeliness and quality. Bloomberg vehemently insists that his company is about "content." In fact, Bloomberg is as software-intensive and interactively enabled as a Yahoo!, an Intuit or an Amazon.corn. Trillions of dollars trade every year based on the data and software analytics that flow through the ubiquitous Bloomberg boxes on traders' desks.
The key distinction? Bloomberg hasn't quite decided whether the Net is more of a threat or an opportunity. Though Bloomberg has a presence on the Web, the company's most valuable networks are proprietary. The idea of a "Bloomberg Lite" for the great unwashed--besides what is offered on the Web--is anathema. Bloomberg insists his company has no desire to become a mass conduit for financial information. His is an info-boutique that serves the wealthiest of financial service institutions.
Not surprisingly, Bloomberg is an entrepreneur whose perspectives on the intersection of technological innovation, customer service and branding bear no resemblance to the Silicon Valley or Silicon Alley crowd. What's more, Bloomberg's traffic with established media giants like News Corp. and GE's NBC gives him unique insight into how traditional media companies are adapting-and failing to adapt--to the rise of new media.
In other words, Bloomberg's own multimedia analysis is just as timely as the analysis presented on the screens of his Bloomberg boxes. His contrarian attitude may annoy a few of the newbie Internet billionaires, but then again, as a billionaire in his own right, when he talks, they listen.
Why did the name become Bloomberg?
Probably from some customs or immigration inspector on Ellis Island who didn't understand a word the guy trying to get into the country was saying.
All kidding aside, I started out with a techie name, Innovative Market Systems [and] with a functional name, Market...