business management

The Limits of Being Persuaded

August 11, 2012

Jeff Atwood had a post about persuasion, linking to one of my favorite movie scenes where Idi Amin, the former dictator of Uganda, castigates his advisor for not effectively persuading him to expel Asian residents who were not Ugandan citizens. The conversation goes like this: Idi Amin: I want you to tell me what to […]

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Rules to Liberate vs Rules to Choke

July 29, 2012

Angela Baldonero at Return Path has a post about her work at human resource management. Some of her points are very good. She writes about not tolerating brilliant people who cannot work in a team. Their company (apparently) does not simply pay lip service to their stated value of total transparency, but acts on it even […]

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Acquisition for Termination

July 22, 2012

I read Matt Gemmell’s take on critics of Google’s acquisition of Sparrow (an email client) with interest. It echoes some of what I previously wrote about entrepreneurs, i.e., they are in the game to benefit financially and because there are many business factors outside their control, sometimes it is worth selling the business when they […]

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About Sales Commissions

January 9, 2012

Dan Ostlund at Fog Creek Software talks about how they have got rid of commissions for sales people: We did it because we were having a lot of the problems with commissions described above even though all of our salespeople are ethical and decent. Commissions just encourage certain kinds of behavior; dysfunction is built into […]

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Trello and Siberian Cake Shop Owners

November 17, 2011

I was reading this amusing post on the Fog Creek blog by Rock Hymas illustrating Clayton Christensen’s disruption concept through the story of a cake shop owner in Siberia (!) who has some competition in the form of an ice cream stand. It is a good analogy, but it fails to explain why the cake shop owner makes […]

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The Departure of Steve Jobs from Apple

August 25, 2011

It had to happen some day and, like Bill Gates leaving Microsoft, Steve Jobs’s resignation from Apple seems like the end of an era. Since Jobs will continue as the Chairman, he will still maintain influence, though how much remains to be seen since this development seems to be driven by medical reasons. He is […]

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Demand Insensitive Pricing

August 9, 2011

Travis Houium makes a great point in this article from DailyFinance:  I looked through the prices of on-demand movies, and I was shocked at what Comcast (CMCSA) charges for a movie. Why spend $5.99 for 127 Hours when I could purchase it from Barnes & Noble for $13.19 and own it forever? And why would I […]

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A Thought About Ransackgate

July 31, 2011

The topic of the week is the horrible experience of a customer of the online vacation rental service Airbnb who had her house trashed and valuables stolen. It has been a major public relations disaster for the company. Hopefully it will end with the perpetrators captured, the victim properly compensated and Airbnb able to continue their […]

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Women in Technology

July 26, 2011

Anna Lewis at FogCreek has done the programming community a favor by looking at history and finding that computer science was not a male-dominated field as commonly assumed: In 1987, 42% of the software developers in America were women. And 34% of the systems analysts in America were women. Women had started to flock to […]

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When Sales Rules the Roost

May 28, 2011

[Update: Cloud9 have promised to look at a clearer pricing model. See comments.] Cloud9 IDE is a service with a good idea — provide an online IDE, and they seem to have several great features implemented. On the other hand, this is remarkably stupid: It makes it seem that having a single workspace is 100 […]

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