Lessons of Theranos

Continued">

I’m halfway through listening to the audiobook of John Carreyrou’s Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. It’s an interesting time to be learning about this company, as Theranos’s CEO Elizabeth Holmes was just convicted of lying to investors. I’ve helped launch or participated in my share of startups and been briefed … Continued

“Do Not Reply” emails are offensive — and a missed opportunity

Continued">

Organizations email individuals all the time. The sender is often something like “do-not-reply@organization.com.” That’s a massive “screw you” to the customer, and it doesn’t have to be. Why do those “Do Not Reply” emails exist? There are lots of reasons that companies send emails from a “do not reply” address. The main one is some … Continued

Congratulations to Forrester for embracing “work anywhere”

Continued">

Forrester Research CEO George Colony is a stubborn, stubborn man. But he believes in the company’s research and he values culture above all. That’s why, after decades in an office, he has just embraced a post-viral “work anywhere” policy. George Colony is dedicated to two things: culture and research When I started working for Forrester … Continued

Call center sinners should burn in hellfire

Continued">

I’m on hold right now waiting for a customer service rep — to investigate a serious problem that I neither caused nor asked for. I’d give up, except that resolving this is crucial to my future. And it’s hell. If the experience of calling your call center is a hellscape, your customer experience is terrible. … Continued

How to respond to an email you were copied on by mistake

Continued">

Sometimes people put your name on emails by mistake — and as a result, you see something that wasn’t intended for you. Naturally, the simplest thing to do is delete it. But we’re all curious, so we don’t often do what we “ought” to do. Here’s some more realistic advice on what to do when … Continued

On retainer: the economics of retainers for editors and other professionals

Continued">

I usually charge people by the project. But for some ongoing relationships, I charge a monthly retainer. While this arrangement is good for freelancers, clients need to think carefully about whether it’s appropriate for them. How a retainer arrangement works Here’s the mechanics of a retainer arrangement, or at the least the kind that I’ve … Continued

The agony index and the end of travel

Continued">

I travelled constantly as an analyst. Now I hardly travel at all. Not traveling is better. I’m not a newbie. I’m Platinum for Life on American Airlines. It took me 20 years get that. It’s not worth much to me now. I don’t miss: Planning. The late lamented Hipmunk travel planning tool scored flights on … Continued

The one quality that sets tradespeople above the rest

Continued">

In preparation for buying a house in Maine, selling one in Massachusetts, and moving, I’ve dealt with a bunch of people who offer home services. One thing matters more than any other. Communication. This is so obvious. And yet people still don’t get it. At the top of my list of standout communicators is Olympia … Continued