Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook’s future: the spirit is willing, but the algorithm is weak

Mark Zuckerberg published a 5800-word letter on the future of Facebook. It’s thoughtful, well-reasoned, articulate, and full of truth. It’s also full of wistful promises, which I don’t trust no matter who offers them. Mark Zuckerberg’s letter, Building Global Community, starts like this: On our journey to connect the world, we often discuss products we’re building … Continued

The power of three for idea development

When I work with authors and entrepreneurs on their ideas, one-on-one sessions miss something. So do big brainstorms. The best number is three. One extra person makes a dramatic difference. I’ve done this “idea development” thing about ten times now. (For authors, I call it a “book whisperer” session.) I start with an author, or … Continued

Winners of the 2016 Bullshitty Awards

2016 was a shitty year for most of us . . . but a great year for bullshit. Thanks to your votes, I can now announce the winners of the 2016 Bullshitty Awards. Here’s the live video. Winners listed below. Most disingenuous apology Nominees Cheryl Boone Isaacs, President, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences … Continued

How Facebook makes money for me — and why that worries me

I thought Facebook would help me sell books. Instead, what it has done is to boost my brand among a big group of influential people and give me opportunities to get paid. As a result, I can see how it’s assimilating many Web functions, a trend that worries me. I’m a mid-level business author. While my … Continued

The self-serving Michael Flynn resignation letter is mostly fluff

Michael Flynn resigned yesterday as Donald Trump’s national security advisor. Media reports stated that he’d lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the content of his pre-inauguration conversations with the Russian Ambassador. Resignation letters should take responsibility, apologize, and say nothing further — but Flynn’s is strangely full of fluffy praise for Trump. Flynn’s letter is … Continued

Join me live at 2 Eastern this Thursday 16 Feb – Learn who is the biggest bullshitter

I spent 2016 cataloguing and critiquing the most egregious bullshit statements of public figures. Somebody had to do it. Hundreds of you spent the last three weeks voting. Thanks. On Thursday I will announce the winners in a live broadcast from Cambridge, Massachusetts. There are 11 categories, including bullshitter of the year (both corporate and political). … Continued

Should Shopify dump Breitbart? Where should vendors draw the line?

Shopify, a commerce platform, supports thousands of online stores, including Breitbart’s. Tens of thousands of people have called on the company to dump the alt-right site, but Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke says anyone who isn’t breaking the law can use his platform. I agree with his position. As I previously wrote, the boycott war has descended … Continued

Lessons from the appeals court’s ruling against Trump’s immigration order

A federal appeals court ruled against President Trump, refusing to allow Trump’s executive order concerning immigration and travel to go back into effect. It’s a complicated case, and a complicated ruling. Let’s look at the clearest parts of the ruling, and what’s good and bad about legal language. First, the context. Trump’s executive order 12 days ago … Continued