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AA Interview: TickPick’s Brett Goldberg

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Brett Goldberg is the co-CEO of TickPick, a New York-based startup that has been changing the secondary ticket industry. Read our interview with Brett right here.

Brett Goldberg is the co-CEO of TickPick, a New York-based startup that has been changing the secondary ticket industry. Goldberg is the current CEO of TickPick, but his background is more extensive than that. After graduating from Lehigh University, Brett went to work for Barclays’ Investment Banking Division and then he went on to join Sixpoint Partners before helping found TickPick. Simply put, this guy’s wicked smart when it comes to business. So, if he is a part of company that helps you get the most out of a dollar, I’d rather go through him with his advice than some random dude with Stubhub. Check out TickPick’s algorithm for all kinds of seats at TickPick.com. In the interview below, Alternative Addiction’s Paul Carr is simply AA, TickPick’s Brett Goldberg is TPBG. AA: Can you explain more about how the technology behind the site works? TPBG: There’s a lot of technology behind the scenes, but here’s a few bullets on how the algorithms work, which help fans get the best deals. – Each stadium / arena / theater and specific concert configuration is customized. – The algorithm is a relative value algorithm (which allows us to compare different sections to one another, i.e. front row seat on the floor is equal to 100%: the furthest seats away may be equal to 20%, which depends on the venue). A very simple way to think about this is if the front row seats are selling for $100 and the last row are selling for $20, that would be an equal deal. If the front row was selling for $90 and the last row $20, the front row would be a better deal. – The “relative values” for each configuration is created both by ‘machine’ and human, where an actual person is using industry knowledge, stadium knowledge and potentially sales data to create the relative values. – From time to time, we’ll update the values based on customer feedback or additional information that we discover. AA: Where did the idea come from? TPBG: I use to buy and sell tickets as hobby to help pay for my concert addiction. I always found that the process on both sides was painful. Pricing tickets and selling tickets was somewhat arbitrary, mostly decided based on what other sellers were listing their tickets for (of course supply and demand came into play, however buyers had no way to say what they were actually willing to pay). From the buyer side, I thought the process of searching, sorting and selecting tickets was tedious. I always believed that algorithms could help buyers get the best bang for their buck. AA: What advice would you give to fans wanting to score the best tickets to concerts? TPBG: Honestly, it would be to reach out to our support team. Although we are an ecommerce business, one of the things that sets us apart is that we respond to every email and we are happy to chat with our customers on the phone. Every concert is different, so talking to a human can be a huge help. AA: Do you think that the price of concert tickets is reasonable in the current climate? TPBG: It’s hit or miss, there are plenty of concerts for $10-$20, maybe just not the ones that millions of people want to see. For example, I wanted to go see Drake at MSG, I was priced out, I just wasn’t willing to spend $500 on a pair of decent tickets although I did want to go. Being based in NYC I think the pricing here and some of the major metropolitan areas is entirely different than other cities. At times it definitely seems a bit outrageous, but at the end of the day it comes down to what people are willing to pay. AA: What can ticket sites do to make it easier for actual fans to get tickets? TPBG: This is what we work on, on a daily basis. We are making sure that we have as much inventory as possible and that we are offering the cheapest prices possible. We also are always making sure that fans have a great experience with our service and that we are exceeding their expectations.