Fast and good: Robert Scoble and Shel Israel’s amazing publishing model

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Self-publishing is much faster than traditional publishing. But can you create a quality book that way? Yes, but only with a disciplined process and the right support team. Here’s my insider’s account of how Shel Israel and Robert Scoble pulled it off with their new book book, The Fourth Transformation: How Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence Change Everything. Shel … Continued

With LinkedIn, Microsoft will know us all too well

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Customer knowledge is the most valuable business commodity in our future. Facebook already knows your heart, Google your intentions, and Amazon your purse. With LinkedIn, Microsoft will know your brain. You don’t get a say in the matter. Why did Microsoft agree to buy LinkedIn for $26 billion? If you listen to their CEOs, Satya Nadella and Jeff … Continued

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is direct, except when it comes to culture

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos just released a very clear shareholder letter. He’s very clear and direct about Amazon’s successful products. But when it comes to culture, he’s opaque and oblique. That speaks volumes. I’m a fan of shareholder letters (like Warren Buffet’s) where the CEO lays out what happening in clear simple language. Bezos’ 9-page letter lives … Continued

The whole truth about The New York Times – Amazon feud

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Two months after The New York Times‘ devastating takedown of Amazon’s culture, Amazon fired back. Where’s the whole truth here? There is none. Because by definition, stories always leave out more than they include. As briefly as possible, here’s what happened. On August 15, the Times wrote about Amazon’s “bruising workplace.” Jeff Bezos emailed his employees a non-denial … Continued

Jeff Bezos’ non-denial denial of the New York Times Amazon takedown

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The New York Times published a brutal takedown of Amazon culture this past weekend. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sent around an internal email to deny the charges. But Bezos’ reply is so weak, it makes you wonder if his heart it is in it. The Amazon story, “Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace,” … Continued

5 bullshit things about book publishing and the reasons behind them

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Today I launch #5BullshitThings, an industry-by-industry analysis of the whacked-out way the world works now. I’ll start with book publishing. When rapid change hits stodgy industries you get disruption. Disruption generates cognitive confusion and threatens power dynamics. That, in turn, generates hypocrisy, and incomprehensible behavior. In other words, bullshit. Let’s look at five bullshit things about … Continued