Revenge, integrity, and my tiny role in the downfall of Henry Yuen

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In the year 2000, when I was the top technology analyst in the television industry, I began to see the outlines of the transformation of television. TiVo had delivered a big shock to the television schedule. Video on-demand was another tremor. I could see the whole edifice shaking. I wrote a piece called “The End Of TV (As We … 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

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

Adobe video embraces marketing without buzzwords

Adobe’s latest video taps into how we all feel about marketing jargon. My question is . . . is Adobe really who you think of as a jargon buster in marketing technology? Or are they part of the problem? Thanks to Steve Woodruff for the tip.  

Satya Nadella is “deeply” conflicted about laying off 7,800 people

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Letting people go in bunches varies from bad to dreadful. You can’t make it right with clear language, but you can certainly make it worse. On the heels of Satya Nadella’s excellent mission statement email, he had to dump 7,800 staff, mostly because of Steve Ballmer’s ill-conceived decision to acquire Nokia’s phone business. I’d give Nadella’s layoff … Continued

The 5 R’s process to cure passive voice

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I’ve cured many writers of the passive habit. I can cure you, too. All it takes is the 5 R’s: recognize, raise awareness, reconsider, rewrite, and retrain. Think of this process the way you’d think of changing your diet. Let’s say you want to cut down on sugar. First you need to recognize why sugar is a … Continued

5 passive-voice evasions and how to fix them

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We’re coming up on 100 years since William Strunk, Jr. told us to avoid the passive voice. What’s the big deal? Simply put: it makes the reader work harder. It hides the “who” in sentences, plunging the reader into a mysterious world in which things happen without actors or causes. Creepy! I’ll illustrate five common passive-voice … Continued

How I develop ideas

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Ideas just happen. Or do they? As I’ve set myself ambitious goals for content, I need a process that generates ideas reliably. It fascinates me how my process requires both structure and randomness to work. I honed these techniques as SVP of idea development for Forrester Research, and now I use them constantly. Perhaps you … Continued