Thursday, July 9, 2015

Wine Business Data Hack: Resources Edition


A Technical Issue?

I spent an inordinate amount of time over the July 4th weekend on the Blog that was released on Monday which discussed the pilfering of 250,000 credit card records from eCellars.

I got so focused on understanding this situation I got a little freaked out yesterday when my company laptop didn't work right, my cell phone started freezing and nobody could hear me when I called, my home internet seemed to be operating at 10% of normal, and then the car battery died. WHAT IS GOING ON? .... just a bad day of negative coincidence?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

250,000 Credit Cards Stolen in Wine Industry Hack

 
ECommerce Payments
 
I've always thought the wine industry should be the most uninteresting industry for cybercrime. Wineries have lots of inventory to steal, but anyone who works in this business knows there isn't much cash to take. It all gets used up in barrels, bottles, inventory and facilities.

Who and even more to the point, why would anyone bother to hack into a winery? It's not like there are any huge IP secrets to take. North Korea doesn't care about the 2015 vintage. Chinese spies have to get paid more to focus on our Government's and defense contractor's systems rather than messing with wineries I'd think. Pre-pubescent teenagers trying to hack winery computer systems would have more fun trying to hack celebrities personal sites or play World of Warcraft. That's where young people can really experience virtual power and control.

Besides, the wine business is really a bitty industry; one full of mom and pop shops. So why would anyone bother to try and hack into a winery when there seem to be so many other far more interesting and larger industry targets out there to probe?

That question is no longer academic because today - right this second, hundreds of people in probably 100 separate companies are cleaning up after the personal information of 250,000 winery customers was hacked in a recent data breach. [i]

This is a really big deal. While I've heard no mention of the cost of this, it has to easily be millions of dollars in the aggregate given the number of businesses and impacted people who are cleaning up the mess thus far. And those losses are before considering any fradulent credit card purchases which may have happened or may still happen.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Replay of 2015 DtC VideoCast + Chat


Another live videocast is in the can and has already hit summer re-runs on YouTube.

Somebody will soon be sending you some popcorn for you to pare with a pinot gris, so you can settle in with your tasting room colleagues to review the findings of the Wine Business Monthly/Silicon Valley Bank Tasting Room Survey .... feedback-results, whatever you want to call it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

SVB Direct to Consumer Live VideoCast


Silicon Valley Bank
 

Live Video Conference:
 
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time

 
Register Now

Please join us for an interactive video discussion of Silicon Valley Bank's 2015 Tasting Room Survey. This promises to be a lively conversation as SVB's Rob McMillan reviews survey results and interprets industry trends in the Tasting Room and the larger Direct To Consumer chanel along with a panel of experts.
 
Sign up for the presentation and receive a link to the replay and the complete results of the Silicon Valley Bank 2015 Tasting Room Survey after the webinar.

Speakers:

Join Us On Twitter:
Follow Rob (@SVBWineon Twitter and join the conversation before, during, and after the webinar by using #SVBWine.


Friday, May 1, 2015

How Much Did Wineries Really Make in 2014?




     The Only Place You Can Get This Information


Silicon Valley Bank is many things but chief among them is focused. We only handle the fine wine business, the innovation economy (technology companies), and the technology funding universe (VCs, Hedge Funds, etc.). I've had clients who ask if we will handle the banking for their totally credit-worthy non-wine companies, and my answer is always: "If I did that, you wouldn't like me as much as you do now."

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Should You Ever Discount Your Wine?

 
I'm betting nobody knows who Thorstein Veblen is. Like this picture, you have to be a little cockeyed to know him; be a Jeopardy Champion, enjoy thumbing through pictures of people who look like axe murderers, or maybe you are an economist with little to do with your free time except refresh your memory about a Veblen good?
 
One on-going debate in the wine business where Veblen's theories play a role is price discounts. Should you discount, and if so when and by how much? To get at an answer we'll review some economic basics. (... I know how exciting that sounds but stick with it. I won't kill you with math.)


Saturday, April 18, 2015

How Important Are Tasting Rooms to Success?

 
There is a bit of a standoff taking place in parts of wine country. No, the battle isn't with the Federales - not with the ABC, CDFA, BOE, TTB, or FDA each of whom have a regulatory role in the wine business. The battle is over events, tourism, and tasting rooms.