Creative agency jargon at J. Walter Thomson

People leave companies and executives have to write statements. These statements must say everything and nothing at the same time. This is not the place for creativity, but try telling that to J. Walter Thomson. Matt Eastwood, Chief Creative Officer of the agency J. Walter Thomson, is out. They’re not replacing him. This creates a … Continued

The lesson of Cambridge Analytica: Facebook shares your data by design.

Cambridge Analytica, a company funded by Republican backer Robert Mercer, used data from 50 million Facebook users to model the electorate. But this isn’t a data breach. Facebook is a machine designed to encourage people to share their preferences, then exploit it for profit. Despite Facebook’s protests, this is a feature, not a bug. According … Continued

The greatest party and why it was so great

My friend, who used to be a startup CEO, gave a party at her apartment. The party was for her husband and his new book. I don’t know him well, but I do know books, which is one reason I was invited. I have to admit, I have no idea what people mean when they … Continued

Analytical thinking: Unexpected consequences of a single election

A Democrat narrowly won a special election for an open congressional seat in western Pennsylvania. It’s only one election. But as an exercise in analytical thinking, let’s figure out what it could mean. First, the facts. Tim Murphy, the Republican in the 18th congressional district, resigned after his mistress said he’d told her to get … Continued

13 tips for thriving as an author within a company

When you write a book about ideas, it reflects well on both you and your company. Or at least it ought to. As with all corporate politics, the devil is in the details. I learned much of what you’re about to read while coauthoring three books and editing two others at Forrester Research. Since leaving, … Continued

Writers: say these words before every interview you conduct

You’ve lined up some time with a smart person. You’re about to interview them on the phone or in person, and you’re eager to get started. So after the small talk is done, you ask the first question. You’ve made a mistake. There’s something you’d better say first. And based on the tears and rending … Continued