Racism is easy

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Nobody talks about it, but racism is efficient. That’s why it’s so common. I’m not talking about burning crosses or shooting up supermarkets. I’m talking common everyday racism. Should I hire her? I don’t know if customers would relate to somebody who looks like that. I’ll hire him instead, he looks like a better choice. … Continued

How your corporate PR can help you create a sexy book proposal promotion section

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The marketing section of your book proposal is crucial to getting picked up by a mainstream publisher. If you’re part of a company you’ve lined up help from the company’s public relations and promotions department, you have a huge advantage. Here’s how to describe that asset in the proposal. Making the most of a corporate … Continued

Is it worth it to study math?

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I was a math major and had ambitions to be a mathematician. That didn’t happen. Instead, I found myself in the business world. In contrast to writing, which I consider an essential skill for almost any job, advanced mathematical ability is not clearly necessary for most jobs. But as I look back at my career, … Continued

Why layoffs really happen

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In 30 years of working for companies, I’ve seen a dozen layoffs. And I’ve observed dozens more at companies I was following closely. Why do companies choose to dump staff they’ve invested so much effort in hiring and training? The answer, more often than not, is an inevitable consequence of how companies plan for growth. … Continued

Anachronicons

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In the continual iconification of our interfaces, there are images that live on only as icons of bygone technology. I propose that we call these anachronicons (from anachronism + icons). What got me thinking about this was the knobs on my new Weber gas grill. They look like this: Are you having difficulty figuring out … Continued

Rogers crippled a huge chunk of Canada on Friday. How’s their apology?

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Rogers Communications is the dominant internet provider in Toronto and the rest of Ontario. When it failed on Friday, it crashed a quarter of Canada’s internet connections, disrupting everything from mobile service to work-at-home to financial transactions and emergency 9-1-1 service for parts of three days. Now that service appears to be back, Rogers has … Continued

My views on books: The Selfish Gift podcast

The estimable Maggie Langrick, founder and CEO at the publisher Wonderwell, spent an hour interviewing me about everything about books. We talked about how to plan, how to write, how to promote, and basically, how to succeed as an author. It’s long. But it’s full of goodies, because Maggie knows just what to ask. Enjoy.

The fatal mistake even the best first-time authors make

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You’ve just sent the manuscript of your first book off to the publisher. Your brain is bursting with endorphins — and more ideas. What should you do now? Get started on the next book? No, no, no! You’re forgetting something. Your book is not done, and it is certainly not popular. You need to be … Continued