How to write about a trend

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Trends are great topics for writing, because they’re always changing; people are eager for advice on what to do about them. But to write persuasively about a trend, you need to know what stage it’s in. So let’s go over strategies for writing about trends. I’ll start with the Gartner Hype Cycle, which is a … Continued

Why I’m an analyst (and you could be, too)

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I like to do two things at work: figure new things out and explain what I figured out. That’s what makes me an analyst. The way I look at it, ignoring overhead (like filing expense reports and political scheming), people do three useful things at work: Figure new things out. Use knowledge to get things … Continued

A question for thought leaders: “Yes, but how do you know?”

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The number of self-described experts has multiplied along with the slots for them to express their views on blogs, podcasts, Forbes, Huffington Post, LinkedIn, and Medium. It’s great that we now get to hear from a wide variety of thinkers. But the first question you should ask of any of them is, “How do you … Continued

Analytical thinking: Unexpected consequences of a single election

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A Democrat narrowly won a special election for an open congressional seat in western Pennsylvania. It’s only one election. But as an exercise in analytical thinking, let’s figure out what it could mean. First, the facts. Tim Murphy, the Republican in the 18th congressional district, resigned after his mistress said he’d told her to get … Continued

13 tips for thriving as an author within a company

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When you write a book about ideas, it reflects well on both you and your company. Or at least it ought to. As with all corporate politics, the devil is in the details. I learned much of what you’re about to read while coauthoring three books and editing two others at Forrester Research. Since leaving, … Continued

Analysts, the Dunning-Kruger Effect, and the Gartner Hype Cycle

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A little knowledge is dangerously misleading. That’s the message of the Dunning-Kruger effect, in which ignorant people think they’re smart. It’s the message of the Gartner Hype Cycle, in which people get overenthusiastic about new technologies. And it’s the reason that analysts, over and over again, get overenthusiastic about whatever’s new. In 1999, the psychologists … Continued

Comparing real influence and fake followers

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The New York Times published an expose of how “influencers” pay to boost their follower counts on Twitter, using services like Devumi. Real influence comes from ideas that spread and generate change in how people think. You can’t measure that from follower counts. The Times article “The Follower Factory” is worth a read. According to … Continued

Hotel-blogger dustup: Elle Darby vs. The White Moose Café is a battle of rude losers

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YouTube and Instagram “influencer” Elle Darby asked The White Moose Café in Dublin for some free lodging. The owners of the White Moose responded by ridiculing Darby and banning bloggers. They’re both losers. Learn by observing what they did, and then doing the opposite. Let’s start with Darby. With 90,000 followers on YouTube, she makes … Continued