How to get that executive case study interview

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Business books include case studies and perspectives from executives. Executives live in impenetrable corporate fortresses. How can you get them to go on the record? I’ve already written about how to find the stories — through your own experience, existing vendor case studies, and news articles. So my starting point for this post is that … Continued

In which I scoff at influencers

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In the New York Times, Kevin Roose writes “Don’t Scoff at Influencers. They’re Taking Over the World.” Sorry, dude. I’m scoffing. Bigtime. Here’s some of what Roose wrote: [T]he teenagers and 20-somethings who have mastered these platforms [like TikTok] — and who are often dismissed as shallow, preening narcissists by adults who don’t know any … Continued

There is no such thing as (nonfiction) writer’s block

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My writer friends tell me they’re suffering from writer’s block. They’re not. Oh, sure, they’re unable to write anything useful, but “writer’s block” conjures up an inability to write for unknowable reasons. In fact, I know exactly why they can’t write. If you’re suffering from writer’s block, allow me to help diagnose your problem — … Continued

A robot umpire illuminates the future of AI

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In a minor league baseball game in the Atlantic League, a robot called balls and strikes this week. But there was still a home-plate umpire, and he was still essential. This is a nice metaphor for the future of AI-assisted work. As described in The New York Times, the system applies rules about the strike … Continued

Strategy vs. tactics

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Strategy generates better, cheaper, more permanent solutions. But it does require thinking a bit . . . I had a problem. There were raccoons in my ceiling. Next to my basement there is an unheated, unfinished space with a dirt floor. They burrowed into this space, squeezed into the ceiling above it, and then migrated … Continued

The Trump Twitter ruling affirms the right to troll public figures

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An appeals court affirmed a ruling that Donald Trump’s Twitter account can’t block people. Let’s take a look at what that means. First question: is Trump’s account a part of the public record of government or an activity undertaken by a private citizen? It’s clear from what he posts that it’s intended to public activity. … Continued

Book tips: How many drafts should I write?

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A fellow nonfiction author recently shared that he’d written 18 drafts of his book. That’s probably too many. But how many is the right number? I’ll answer that question, but first, let’s talk about what a draft is. You have a chapter written. You go through and make a change. You save it under a … Continued

How to speak truth to power

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I made a career out of telling important people things they might not want to hear. In my time as a technology analyst I spoke with CEOs, presidents, founders, and management teams at ABC, Best Buy, Cablevision, Charles Schwab, Cisco, Clear Channel, Comcast, Conde Nast, Cox, Discovery, EMI, HBO, Haier, Hearst, Home Depot, Intuit, Lifetime, … Continued