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Tom Silva
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Tom Silva is Senior Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for The Alter Group, one of the nation's leading commercial real estate development firms. Tom previously served as communications director for PM Realty Group, an international full-service commercial real estate firm. He is a graduate of Long Island University and is currently part of the Masters of Arts program in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. Tom was the recipient of the CoreNet Global Chicago Chapter’s inaugural Michael Kaczmareck Leadership Award.

His work has been recognized by the Publicity Club of Chicago, the International Academy of the Visual Arts and the Web Marketing Association.

He is also a filmmaker and musician whose work has been reviewed by Rolling Stone, the Chicago Sun-Times, Public Television, iTunes, and in arts publications in Europe.

For more information about Tom or The Alter Group, please check out www.altergroup.com.

Entries by Tom Silva

Twilight of the Brands? Not Really

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 1:02 PM

A few weeks ago, The New Yorker's business maven, James Surowiecki set off a tremor in the marketing world when he penned a widely circulated essay called "Twilight of the Brands." As its title suggests, this was a broadside against Madison Avenue arguing (convincingly) that the internet has...

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In Search of Millennials

(9) Comments | Posted October 24, 2013 | 4:51 PM

This post is another article about Millennials. Like Time Magazine's May feature, "The Me, Me, Me Generation" and countless other cover stories, it's full of assertions and a few accusations. Unlike Time however, my accusations are directed at us older folk. Simply put, we don't have a clue...

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Branding Goes Big

(1) Comments | Posted September 26, 2013 | 12:42 PM

In the striking Kate Winslet film, Little Children, there's a scene where her husband is questioned about his job at a marketing firm. "No," he corrects his interlocutor incredulously, "what I do isn't marketing; what I do is branding." Somewhere along the way, branding became a discipline and marketing started...

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Crowdfunding's Slippery Slope

(13) Comments | Posted August 14, 2013 | 6:23 PM

Something has gone very right and very wrong with crowdfunding. By now we're all familiar with it -- the open platform that solicits contributions or tiny investments from the 99 percent to fund creative projects, philanthropic endeavors, R&D and your band's music video. Most people agree that it has been...

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Canada: The Answer to College Debt?

(3) Comments | Posted May 29, 2013 | 6:59 PM

Back in the day, Americans went to Canada to avoid the draft. Now they're going to avoid the shaft. Namely, the cost of college tuition in the United States, which recently passed $1 trillion. The average American student now carries $26,600 in IOU's and it shows...

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Big Data Under Attack

(3) Comments | Posted March 20, 2013 | 12:10 PM

Once again, everybody is talking about China. On Feb. 19, Mandiant, an American security company issued a startling report -- the result of a six-year investigation -- that makes the claim that the United Sates is in a cyber war with a 12-story building in Shanghai. The private...

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Home or Office?

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2013 | 12:43 PM

Yahoo! has caused a stir because it is axing its telecommuting policy (unless you have a good reason). The dictum from HR goes like this: "From June all Yahoos will be required to turn up in the office unless they have a good excuse." The reason is, of...

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In Praise of Aging

(4) Comments | Posted January 30, 2013 | 8:53 AM

Does it pay to be older? It depends who you're talking to. If you're a Baby Boomer or Gen X'er, talking to an economist will make you glad for your salt and pepper hair and your crow's feet. Overall, 55- to 64-year-olds have an unemployment rate of 6.6...

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2012: The Year the World Moved

(0) Comments | Posted January 3, 2013 | 8:36 AM

And so we alight upon the New Year, fiscal cliff and Mayan doomsday safely averted. So, what have we learned and what can we be sure of? Only that the media makes a great deal of money from anxiety and, doubtless, is hard at work on the next crisis. Meantime,...

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James Bond's Toughest Foe? The Great Recession

(1) Comments | Posted November 21, 2012 | 8:57 AM

The 23rd James Bond film, Skyfall , has turned into a bonanza at the box-office, becoming the most successful entry in the franchise in just 10 days. In the new film, Bond is asked by his adversary what his favorite hobby is. "Resurrection," the superspy answers. Which is the truth...

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Obamacare Starts Cracking the Whip: Are the Wrong People Paying the Price?

(80) Comments | Posted November 1, 2012 | 1:00 PM

There's a concept in the sciences and philosophy called "correlation without causation." It simply means that when two things tend to happen together, it's a logical fallacy to assume that one causes the other (every sports fan with a ritual before the big game understands this). In statistics, you need...

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What Don't We Know About the iPhone 5?

(16) Comments | Posted September 22, 2012 | 2:48 AM

So much has been written about the iPhone 5 that this author will readily admit that he has little to add. So, think of this as the equivalent to the "odd & ends" or "potpourri" section on Jeopardy -- a grab bag of the hyberbolic and the historic.

First...

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The Golden Age of Cable

(4) Comments | Posted August 6, 2012 | 12:36 PM

There seems to be an inverse relationship between Hollywood and the general economy. According to the National Association of Theatre Owners during six of the past eight recessions in the U.S., box office and admissions sales increased. During the great whale of economic tumults in the 1930s,...

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Could Wall Street Save the Housing Market?

(12) Comments | Posted July 24, 2012 | 5:17 PM

What will solve the housing crisis? The Keynesians think it's a government bailout and the Hayekians think it will ultimately be the invisible hand and spontaneous order of supply and demand that will ameliorate the underwater single-family home sector. Well, could it both? In other words, the government steps in...

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The Era of Big Data Is Here

(7) Comments | Posted June 18, 2012 | 6:36 PM

As we see the recovery sputtering because of the European debt crisis, we await the next big thing. What will power this economy the way returning servicemen, the housing boom, urbanization and the Keynesianism of presidents from Eisenhower to Nixon powered the U.S. from the 1950s to the early 1970s?...

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Pausing for Pundits

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2012 | 1:59 PM

So, what's on your mind these days? Maybe you're looking ahead to the general election or pondering the nature of judicial activism. Whatever the case, recent events make me pause, as I do often, to think about how much time we spend reading and listening to speculation and predictions from...

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Obama's Not So New Deal

(0) Comments | Posted February 27, 2012 | 4:09 PM

President Barack Obama's new budget would almost double spending on U.S. infrastructure over the next six years while slashing the appropriations of most other domestic agencies. The blueprint proposes $476 billion through 2018 on highways, bridges and mass transit projects, funded in part by the savings from...

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What Steve Jobs Teaches Us About Ourselves

(2) Comments | Posted November 3, 2011 | 12:25 PM

So much has been written about the death of the principal American industrialist of the last half century, Steve Jobs, that it seems little more can be said; The encomiums have been stirring, emotional and impassioned, comparable only perhaps to those that attended the passing of Thomas Edison. There is...

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Made in America?

(40) Comments | Posted September 9, 2011 | 2:13 PM

I've been hearing the phrase "Made in America" quite a bit recently, welcoming the repatriation of jobs back to the US from China, India and the rest of the off-shore parabola. Most reports have focused on the price of oil being the primary driver, but the return of outsourced jobs...

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The Other Debt Crisis

(2) Comments | Posted August 1, 2011 | 11:26 AM

As the August 2nd deadline to raise the U.S. debt ceiling looms and much of the media attention turns towards prospects of a U.S. default on paying its bills, it may be worth remembering the debt problem that no one is talking about -- one that may have even more...

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