A monopoly always prioritizes strategy over customers. That explains a lot.

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The alternate title for this post was “Why things suck.” I’ve been analyzing corporate behavior for 25 years. I’ve covered Microsoft, Comcast, Facebook, sports leagues, and government. And one simple statement — monopolies prioritize strategy over customers — explains so much. Monopolies are not evil. It’s not that they don’t care. It’s just that once … Continued

Mark Zuckerberg: The addicter’s lament

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If you had profited from a highly addictive drug that had done great damage to society, what would you do? A trial about this — about Insys and fentanyl — is happening right now in Boston. But I’m not talking about opioids. I’m talking about Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal looks … Continued

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tells the truth (mostly) about layoffs

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In a layoff, a company gets rid of people to boost profits. Everyone knows it; no one ever actually says it. Except Elon Musk. Rather than using corporate layoff doublespeak like downsize, rightsize, and RIF (reduction in force), why not tell the truth? Take a look at what Musk said and how he said it. Tesla’s stock price took a … Continued

Is a Tesla on Autopilot safer? Maybe, but Elon Musk’s stats are crooked

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Elon Musk says Tesla is twice as safe with Autopilot on, but his stats don’t add up. Here’s Musk’s tweet. Here’s the quote from Tesla’s report, as published in Teslarati: “In the 4th quarter, we registered one accident for every 2.91 million miles driven in which drivers had Autopilot engaged. For those driving without Autopilot, … Continued

Airline pilots who hate the shutdown must be more direct

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The head of the Air Line Pilots Association sent a letter to President Trump warning of the government shutdown’s impact on safety. It’s sobering, especially when you strip out the passive, military-jargon-laden language and clarify what they’re really saying. The ALPA is a union that represents 61,000 pilots including those flying for Delta and American. … Continued

At Tesla, the customer experience falls far short of the car

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I bought a Tesla. The experience of buying it was terrible. Analyzing the reasons for this is a great exercise in thinking through customer experience. This is not my first electric car. I’m a believer. Six years ago, I bought a Nissan Leaf. My family has been very happy with it. The maintenance costs are … Continued

Yahoo for Verizon: A soporific press release fails to inspire anyone

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Verizon bought Yahoo to combine with AOL and build an online media empire from cast-off spare parts. But its new management can’t seem to write a press release that’s credible, let alone run a media company anyone would visit on purpose. Here’s the logo for the new brand: Because apparently Verizon Media Group, formerly known … Continued

Venezuela’s 1 million percent inflation and other realities of exponential growth

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Venezuela’s financial implosion is devastating. People are starving. The government is printing money to cover budget gaps. And the IMF estimates that inflation will top 1 million percent. But what would it take to get 1 million percent inflation? Before reading on, take this poll. (If you know the formulas for compounding, please don’t use … Continued