A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 23, 2010
“If you can’t bill it, kill it” (“If you can’t bill it, it’s a hobby”)

“If you can’t bill it, kill it” means that if it a project won’t return paying customers, it’s not worth doing. The phrase has been popular in the internet and telecommunications industry since about 2000.
Other variants of the saying (without the bill/kill rhyme) are “If you can’t bill it, it’s a hobby” and “If you can’t bill it, you’re a charity.”
Assorted Favorite Quotes
Brian Gongol
If you can’t bill it, you’re a charity.
Front Page - Running With It
December 1, 2000
But above all ... something that I think we forget many times, and has severely influenced the CATV industry: If you can’t bill it, it’s a hobby. So you have to be able to bill these different services; otherwise you’re not going to go anywhere, including video, including streaming video.
May/June 2001
The New ICE Age: TV Meets the Web
Madanmohan Rao reports from the Convergence Summit in Amsterdam

“We have evolved a new rule for development initiatives: if you can’t bill it, kill it,” said Rafael Bonnelly, VP of content at Terra Networks, the Internet wing of Spanish telecom Telefonica which acquired the Lycos portal.
New Zealand Herald
Cutting up the profit cake the tricky part
By Adam Gifford
5:00 AM Tuesday Aug 28, 2001
“One of the industry mantras today is, ‘If you can’t bill it, kill it’. We can pretty much bill anything out there.”
Google Books
Mass media in India
Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India
Pg. 234:
RAO (Madanmohan). If you can’t bill it, kill it: Development mantra.
Economic Times. 31 May 2001; 5.
A report on the third annual convergence summit titled “Where TV meets the Web” held im Amsterdam..
Google Books
Die Zukunft des Electronic Business
By Horst Albach and Johannes Hummel
Wiesbaden: Gabler
Pg. 10:
Companies should adhere to the advice “If you can’t bill it, kill it”.
Google Books
Understanding Telecom Management
By Vinayshil Gautam and Sanjay Sinha
New Delhi: Concept Pub. Co.
Pg. 121:
It is generally believed that billing systems are the biggest roadblocks in offering innovative pricing schemes hence the phrase, “if you can’t bill it, kill it”.
[April 04, 2005] 
LignUp and D-TAC to Provide Billing Solutions for VoIP Service Providers
Remember, “if you can’t bill it, it’s just a hobby”.
That’s right: If you can’t bill it, kill it
Gawker’s Nick Denton Predicts Tough 2009 - Advertising Age - Digital: “Traffic was the only concern; my belief was that juicy news would draw the readers and the advertising would take care of itself. We were patient; even if it took four years for a site to develop the audience that finally registered with advertisers, we had the time. No longer.”
I think (British journalist and internet entrepreneur) Nick Denton is right: traffic is not enough. Without advertisers to match, even a very popular site will not survive the oncoming advertisers onslaught. If Sugar Publishing would narrow down their impressive list of lifestyle and entertainment blogs based on the same “If you can’t bill it, kill it” principle, we’d end up with a very interesting map of what “works” online and what doesn’t.
If you can’t kill it, bill it: German city charges Google Street View by the kilometre
by Markus Goebel on December 16, 2009

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Wednesday, June 23, 2010 • Permalink

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