Oakland Raiders move to Las Vegas reveals the hazards of loyalty

Sports is about money. But since the money comes from the fans — and the effort comes from the players — the people who run the sports business must talk as if it’s about passion and loyalty. The fundamental hypocrisy at the heart of sports is on display in the statements about the Oakland Raiders’ upcoming move … Continued

As Uber president Jeff Jones quits, CEO Travis Kalanick ignores the toxic context

The bad news at Uber keeps on coming. This weekend, its President of Ridesharing and second-in-command, Jeff Jones, quit after only six months. This was an opportunity for Uber’s founder and CEO, Travis Kalanick, to take responsibility for problems that contributed to this departure. He failed. The context for the Jeff Jones departure First, some background. … Continued

Wishbone can’t wish away a data breach

The quick polling app Wishbone, popular with teenagers, lost 2 million of its users’ email addresses and 287,000 phone numbers. Then it posted no apology — just a “no big deal” email to its users. Most of the apologies I critique are too defensive or company-centric, but I’ve never before seen one that’s basically says, … Continued

How to fix your organization’s poor writing culture

You know poor writing is slowing down your organization. But changing a culture — any culture — is wicked hard. Where should you start? And how can you maintain the change? I suggest three steps: 1. Generate awareness. 2. Share knowledge. 3. Provide systems for help and support. Here’s how to do these. 1. Generate … Continued

Amazon’s unwisely lets the nerds apologize for its AWS outage

Much of the Internet was down for three hours last week. Because of an outage at Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon’s cloud-based service that powers Internet companies, hundreds of services like Medium, Slack, Quora, Reddit, and Kickstarter stopped working or worked poorly. Amazon’s Web geeks then bungled the response, focusing on jargon rather than clarity and empathy. … Continued

The Uber lesson: behave like an asshole and people never forget

What’s Uber’s future? Consider these three principles: If you frequently and publicly behave like an asshole, people think that’s who you are. If you behave like an asshole with employees, contractors, regulators, competitors, and reporters, then you’ll be seen as an asshole, regardless of how nice you are to customers. It’s very hard to recover … Continued

A passive-aggressive shareholder letter from GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt

Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE, just published his company’s annual report and shareholder letter. It starts off with a veiled protest about the state of the world and the challenges it has created for GE’s leadership. The lede demonstrates clearly how people who want to accuse without naming names (Trump! Trump!) use passive constructions to generate doubt. … Continued