What’s your second skill?

What’s your skill? Good with people, good with words? Good for you. But what could you do with a second skill? Great coders are in demand — but there are a lot of them. Writers graduate from college and swarm like ants across the job market. You need one great skill. But one is no longer enough. First off, demand … Continued

Jack Dorsey’s Twitter layoff email shows the value of honesty

Days after taking over as Twitter’s permanent CEO, Jack Dorsey has laid off 336 people. You could learn a lot from the straightforward, honest, and sensitive way he tells his company about it. The corporate layoff is a communications trap for leaders. It makes them insecure, so they they adopt HR bullshit and talk about “reduction in force”, … Continued

Are Dell and EMC dead? An unclouded perspective.

Cade Metz of Wired wants us to know that even with a $67 billion merger, Dell and EMC are doomed. The cloud will kill them. The reasoning is sophisticated, but the language is simple. You could learn a lot about powerful writing from this article. Let’s break it down. Titles and opening sentences are crucial when … Continued

With email, you can prove you’re an idiot in 150 words or less

Short email is a great idea. But even a short email can be vacuous. A short, dumb email is the quickest possible way to make a bad impression. Learn not to be boring. Here’s a recruiting email that Ken Camp received. It’s not only short, it’s spectacularly content-free. Here’s the whole thing, meaningless words in bold: Subject: Opportunity Good … Continued

The Facebook Reactions that Zuck forgot

Mark Zuckerberg yesterday announced “Reactions,” a set of six emoji that will join “Like” as ways to indicate what you thought of a post. For instance, you can now tap “Yay” or “Wow.” Zuck’s not thinking big enough. When I read a post, the set of emotions I feel isn’t covered by this meager list of … Continued

Arrogance, confidence, and the four kinds of experts

When it comes to experts, there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. I’ve spent plenty of time on both sides of that line. I’ll share my insights about the types of experts and how to get the most out of them. All experts have confidence, but confidence itself is complex. Some people have confidence in … Continued

Please join my first-ever webinar on Writing Without Bullshit

I’m finally coming out of my shell. In partnership with WriterAccess, a company that matches writers and those who need them, I’ll be doing a free Webinar on Thursday October 22 at 1PM eastern time. I’m excited to put my ideas out there where you can use them. Snarky humor will definitely be included. Here’s the … Continued

Twitter’s Moments reduce social media to a dusty museum display

Twitter debuted its new feature “Moments” yesterday. Is this the feature the company needs to recharge growth and get people interacting? No, it isn’t. Moments are curated collections of Tweets around news events, like the Yankees losing to the Astros or the  grandmother who won $310 million on Powerball. A lightning bolt icon at the bottom center … Continued