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

United Airlines and the cost of being hated

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I’ve analyzed lots of corporate screwups in this space. Most of those companies will recover just fine. But a few now have a permanent reputation for being a bad and hated company, with real costs that will continue for decades. Let’s look at some of the corporate stupidity on display in the last year or so and … Continued

Comcast recovers nicely from a slippery situation

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Everybody loves to hate Comcast, America’s biggest cable company. On Monday, in Indianapolis, its repair technicians created a situation that led to multiple car accidents, then behaved arrogantly and denied being responsible. Comcast’s response is not bad; it’s direct, personal, and promises to make things better. What happened in Indy? Several Comcast repair trucks with “cherry-pickers” … Continued

5 bullshit things about television and the reasons behind them

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I studied the television industry for more than a decade. It doesn’t work the way you think it does. Since TV is a highly visible but stodgy industry ripe for disruption, it’s a great topic for #5BullshitThings, highlighting industries that work in incomprehensible ways and why they do. I’ll explain your bloated cable bill, why TV programs … Continued

Comcast customer service transformation, in Philadelphia Magazine

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When you read about corporate transformations, be wary. Reporters love to tell these stories, because they humanize companies. We love to read them. But they’re stories, which is not the same thing as truth. Take this article about about how Comcast is transforming its customer experience, “Comcast Knows How Much You Hate Them,” by Richard Rys, in … Continued

Companies with a purpose

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Do your customers know who your company is? Do you? After my critique of Inovalon’s impenetrable “Who We Are” page, I began to wonder about purpose statements. My hypothesis is that companies with powerful, clear, differentiated statements about who they are have more effective employee teamwork and strong brands. Note that I don’t say that the statement causes … Continued