Papa John’s finds out the problem with blaming the NFL for its poor sales

On Papa John’s most recent earnings call, its CEO and founder John H. Schnatter blamed poor results in part on controversies surrounding the NFL, which the restaurant chain sponsors. Stepping into the middle of a political controversy was a mistake. So was clumsily trying to walk it back on Twitter. What Papa John’s said on … Continued

Apple defends its tax dodges

The New York Times, reviewing leaked documents from the law firm Appleby, described how Apple reroutes profits to avoid taxes. Apple’s denial is full of facts but lacks clarity. In Monday’s New York Times article “After a Tax Crackdown, Apple Found a New Shelter for Its Profits,” here’s what we learned: Five months after [Apple … Continued

Google chat support shows how intelligence and stupidity can coexist

I used Google’s chat support. The result was infuriating, because the support person didn’t listen. Humans doing support need to listen and use context — and you’d think algorithms could help with that, especially at Google. Here’s what’s happening. I just set up a new web site for my nonprofit, The next step is … Continued

The DFJ case: When should we believe a woman who claims sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment claims tend to come down to “he said, she said.” Is venture firm DFJ’s founder Steve Jurvetson a predator or a victim? Let’s look at the dueling statements. The accusation Entrepreneur Keri Kukral posted this on Facebook: Threshold reached after long contemplation. Women approached by founding partners of Draper Fisher Jurvetson should be … Continued

Amazing true facts about women at work

Based on the number of #MeToo posts in my social media feeds and the news I’m reading from Hollywood and Silicon Valley, some men have a problem. They seem to be grappling with a mystifying phenomenon: what are women doing in my workplace? Since this blog is all about helping you, the reader, I’ll do … Continued


I want to tell you about an experience I had, because it helped me understanding mansplaining a bit better. It’s an episode I call “docsplaining.” To understand what happened, you need a little background. I am a partner with two other people in a nonprofit organization dedicated to wellness, nutrition, and a new approach to … Continued

Barstool Sports tells Elika Sadeghi that they’re schmucks. Is this a problem?

Barstool Sports offered reporter Elika Sadeghi a two-year contract that specified she’d be subject to offensive speech. Sort of. The whole incident falls apart upon close examination. As described in The Boston Globe, Sadeghi opted not to take the gig when she read the contract. It included a passage saying she understood that her colleagues … Continued

Fast and agile writing projects go best

I’ve noticed something about the significant writing projects I work on: the faster they go, the better the results. It’s not that writing in a hurry is effective (it isn’t). It’s that projects completed in a short timeframe benefit from a higher level of concentration. You might call it an agile writing and editing process. … Continued