The James Damore Google manifesto is a toxic exercise in generalization

James Damore, a Google engineer, published an internal manifesto about gender and discrimination at the company. He’s either a sexist tech bro or a First Amendment hero bravely proclaiming forbidden truths, depending on your perspective. His generalizations about how women think are the problem here — they’re what got him fired. A fresh look at the … Continued

The 8 Lucy Kellaway rules for claptrap and the fundamental theorem of corporate bullshit

After 25 years of calling out corporate business jargon, Lucy Kellaway, columnist for the UK’s Financial Times, has posted eight rules that generate bullshit. The motivations that drive those rule reveal the fundamental theorem of corporate bullshit — all bullshit comes from either people hiding problems, or attempting to make what they are doing seem new … Continued

How the Gmail “Smart Reply” feature should really work

In May, mobile Gmail added “Smart Reply,” which reads your email and suggests replies. But hitting a button that says “OK” isn’t much easier than typing “OK” and hitting send. Given the progress of Google’s A.I. technology, it’s going to get smarter. Here’s a peek into the near future: Meeting request From: Project leader To: … Continued

Venture capitalists Dave McClure and Chris Sacca apologize for harassing women

After VC Justin Caldbeck admitted to harassing women entrepreneurs, The New York Times published a piece about the harassment culture of Silicon Valley. Dave McClure and Chris Sacca, venture capitalists mentioned in that piece, have now responded. Both were genuine, but they took widely different approaches. Their actions now will determine whether the culture of … Continued

Tesco layoff announcement begs the question “Is there a good way to say ‘You’re all fired?’ “

UK retailer Tesco laid off 1,200 people, one-quarter of its headquarters staff. Its layoff announcements have become perfunctory and heartless. Should we praise the company’s honesty? Here’s the public statement from Tesco, as reported in The Independent: This is a significant next step to continue the turnaround of the business. This new service model will … Continued

Empty calories in the Whole Foods letter about becoming part of Amazon

Whole Foods has loyal, upscale customers who might be nervous about its acquisition by Amazon, so the company sent people a reassuring letter by email. It’s one of the most vacuous communications I’ve ever read. Now that Amazon is buying Whole Foods, will the retailer focus on online buyers? Will it expand its selection, including … Continued