Back in the stone age I worked for Ed Zander, who once said, "It shouldn't take extraordinary people to do ordinary things." Ed (who went on to become CEO of Motorola) meant that a department's regular operations shouldn't require herculean efforts. Everyday activities like bringing on a new … [Read more...] about “It shouldn’t take extraordinary people to do ordinary things.”
This week, Rick Edmonds at Poynter, Ryan Chittum at CJR, and Mathew Ingram at Gigaom debated the state of the paywall at news sites. Not surprisingly, there is little consensus whether or not subscription paywalls are a deadend or the wave of the future. However, there is one kind of paywall that I … [Read more...] about Paywall Media — Why Not Bundle?
Here are a few notes from a recent cross-country flight. I'm not sure what I was reading at the time ("The Lean Startup?"), but it's sound advice. Any really good accountant will tell you that the numbers should inform your decisions, not make them. Analytics work best when chasing incremental … [Read more...] about The Religion of Analytics
Since the election, my former co-worker Sean Gallagher has been doing a great series on the presidential election's digital campaigns for Ars Technica. After reviewing the campaigns' financials, his overall conclusion is that by hiring great people and focusing on open-source and off-the-shelf … [Read more...] about IT Dept Deathmatch: Obama’s Project Narwhal vs. Romney’s Orca
In the past two years, many large media properties have begun focusing on delivering "sharable" content -- articles aimed at increasing links in social media. This is somewhat in contrast to a common strategy of the previous years: creating "searchable" content, aimed at increasing an article's … [Read more...] about Delivering ‘Likeable’ Content NPR-Style
Trying to parse political rhetoric is always a challenge, but the Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman would like us to at least make the distinction between disagreements, errors and lies. Not quite "Liars, Damn Liars, and Statistics," but still an interesting … [Read more...] about Krugman on Politicians’ Three Kinds of Wrong: Disagreements, Mistakes and Lies
Steve Jobs once said that he was as proud of the products that he didn't launch as the ones that he did. He believed that he kept his company focused by saying "no" to virtually everything. It was a lifelong trait. In 2004, he told Businessweek that his success "comes from saying no to 1,000 … [Read more...] about Steve Jobs And the Power of “No”
This may be my favorite cartoon ever. The marvelous webcomic XKCD explains in one simple diagram what is wrong with most websites: They aren't about what the users want. Has this always been so? In 1981's "The Soul of a New Machine," Pulitzer-Prize winner Tracy Kidder describes an … [Read more...] about Why Your Site Fails To Attract The Audience It Deserves