A bias toward change

When you plan, do you imagine things will change, or stay pretty much the same? Both are biases; both are right; both are wrong. Technology analysts won’t ever come out and say it, but they have an inherent bias. They always see change coming over the horizon. Your business is shifting to the cloud. Television … Continued

The cure for jargon (video)

If you think too much jargon is creeping into your writing, try reading it aloud. If it sounds anything like this, you may have a problem.

11 key skills of a true analyst

If you want clear and useful thinking, you need a true analyst, not just somebody who calls themselves an analyst. True analysts pursue thinking as a discipline. Let’s look at the qualities and skills that define that discipline. If you watch TV or read the media, it seems like you’re always hearing from analysts — … Continued

“I’m transgender”: Lilly Wachowski makes a statement

There are announcements. There are statements. And then there are statements like Lilly Wachowski’s. The two filmmakers who created “The Matrix” were know at the time as Larry and Andy Wachowski. Both have now transitioned from male to female. Lana announced her transition in 2008 and Lilly, yesterday. Hollywood figures have publicists and announce things in a … Continued

An unboxing video even haters will love

Today’s post is my first unboxing video. The new book by Jay Baer, author of Youtility, is Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers.  If you’re smart, you’ll give it a look, because customer service is the new marketing.

How extra words undermine trust: a case study

Fear makes people hide their meaning with extra words. It backfires. We know you’re afraid. Adding words make people less likely to trust you. A friend forwarded me an excellent example: a 414-word missive about financial improprieties in the school district of Northborough/Southborough, Massachusetts. I know how this letter must have developed: a panicked set of people at the … Continued

How to talk to a graphic designer about book covers

I’ve been working with designers for many decades. I have no graphical talent, and counterintuitively, that’s one reason why I’ve been successful in getting some amazing designs. Great designs emerge from a graphical mind; your job, as the client, is to provide the inspiration, not pick colors or icons. When you’re working with a good designer on an … Continued

The wisdom of Warren Buffett shines through his writing

Warren Buffett recently released his letter to shareholders for 2015. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway consistently delivers excellent financial results; his letters to shareholders consistently deliver clarity, humor, and wisdom. Let’s take a look at just how much better Buffett’s prose is than the muddy, overly technical, jargon-laden and obfuscatory verbiage that makes up most investor communication. … Continued