The Panic Economy

It’s snowing here in New England. And, as always, the local and national news and weather cabals have energized the panic economy, creating not just millions of page views but endless supermarket lines to buy batteries, bread, and milk. (Why bread and milk? No one knows.) As I sit safe and cozy in my home … Continued

And the Oscar for best apology goes to . . . PriceWaterhouseCoopers

Perhaps you noticed that there was a screwup at the Oscars last night. Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty announced that “La La Land” had won the Academy Award for Best Picture . . . and then had to backtrack, because there was a mistake. “Moonlight” was the actual winner. After the mistake, many people behaved graciously. … Continued

Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook’s future: the spirit is willing, but the algorithm is weak

Mark Zuckerberg published a 5800-word letter on the future of Facebook. It’s thoughtful, well-reasoned, articulate, and full of truth. It’s also full of wistful promises, which I don’t trust no matter who offers them. Mark Zuckerberg’s letter, Building Global Community, starts like this: On our journey to connect the world, we often discuss products we’re building … Continued

How Facebook makes money for me — and why that worries me

I thought Facebook would help me sell books. Instead, what it has done is to boost my brand among a big group of influential people and give me opportunities to get paid. As a result, I can see how it’s assimilating many Web functions, a trend that worries me. I’m a mid-level business author. While my … Continued

Should Shopify dump Breitbart? Where should vendors draw the line?

Shopify, a commerce platform, supports thousands of online stores, including Breitbart’s. Tens of thousands of people have called on the company to dump the alt-right site, but Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke says anyone who isn’t breaking the law can use his platform. I agree with his position. As I previously wrote, the boycott war has descended … Continued

Optimism, group bias, fake news, and why the Patriots won the Super Bowl

The New England Patriots heroically overcame adversity to beat the Atlanta Falcons in overtime in Super Bowl LI. That’s the story here in New England. Or, perhaps, Atlanta coach Dan Quinn’s bad decisions, tired Falcons players, penalties, the unlikeliest catch ever seen, and Patriots cheaters are what really happened. Which is it? My message today (sorry to harsh your mellow … Continued

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: many words, hardly any meaning

Roger Goodell gave his “State of the NFL” press conference yesterday in the run-up to Super Bowl LI. Reporters asked difficult questions, and he gave mealy answers. If you’re looking for a tutorial on how to not answer questions, this is your chance to learn a lot. I’ll translate for you. (Based on the NFL’s transcript, … Continued

Preparation is the key to a great research interview (Ask Dr. Wobs)

Preparation is the key to a successful research interview. Deliberate planning makes sure your time isn’t wasted — which is the concern expressed in today’s reader question. Dear Dr. Wobs: Good analysis requires research: analyzing data and interviewing people. I know how to make my research data sing. But how do I prepare for and conduct … Continued