What authors can learn from the IBPA hybrid publisher standards

If you don’t need an advance, there are a lot of good reasons to consider a hybrid publisher — a publisher who will produce and distribute your book for a fee. But the self-publishing space is rife with con-men and amateurs. That’s one reason the Independent Book Publishers Association has published a 9-point set of … Continued

United Airlines should learn that you can’t create consistency with a lottery

United Airlines attempted to replace its employee bonuses with a lottery. This is a “motivational” idea so stupid that, after the employee backlash, the company had to “press pause” on it. Ironically, the plan was an attempt to encourage employees to be more consistently caring — but a plan like that shouldn’t start with random … Continued

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

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

Jack Dorsey proposes to measure the health of Twitter. But he won’t fix it.

Jack Dorsey posted a tweetstorm about what’s wrong with Twitter and how the company will start to fix it. It’s too late, and probably too little, but it’s a start. Here’s what he posted: We’re committing Twitter to help increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation, and to hold ourselves publicly accountable … Continued

How to deal with infuriating editors

Here’s the five-step plan for what to do when you get a piece of writing back with infuriating comments: Read comments and suggestions from editor. Get annoyed that editor is finding fault and making stupid suggestions on how to change perfectly good prose. Figure out what problem set the editor off. Rewrite to fix the … Continued

Boycott frenzy, “discrimination,” and the tyranny of efficiency

In the wake of the school shooting in Florida and NRA president Wayne LaPierre’s statement that the right to bear arms is “granted by God to all Americans as our American birthright,” a slew of companies from Delta Airlines and Hertz to MetLife have ended discount programs with the NRA. Now people are calling for … Continued

KFC answers the question: when are you allowed to be funny in a crisis?

KFC ran out of chicken in the UK. They had to close their restaurants, and then explain themselves. They decided to poke fun at themselves . . . which is great, so long as nobody gets hurt. KFC suffered a distribution problem, which meant, basically, no chicken. Their first decision — to close the restaurants … Continued