The Truest Business Trend Is Being True to Yourself

You never know what’s going to work. But certain trends seem to keep popping up, and writers try to jump on them.
The brilliant marketing and advertising maven Roy H. Williams, co-author with Michael R. Drew of the insightful book Pendulum, has figured why certain hit songs became hit songs (I won’t reveal his findings here…

Audience Touchdowns or Fumbles

In the business section of the New York Times today were virtual side-by-side articles showing how some people understand today’s marketplace while others still operate under the impression that we’re living in the 1960s.
Take the ones that got it wrong.
In his column recapping the Super Bowl commercials – and commercials even during an exciting game…

South Park Rides Many Waves

Be true to yourself, and you’ll likely do well no matter what the cultural climate is.
At least that’s the story from “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
In his New York Times media column, David Carr wrote,
The success of “South Park” is a stark lesson in the fundamentals of entertainment: if you tell stories…

The Power of Facts

The facts are more powerful than punditry.
If coverage of this presidential campaign proved anything, it was that the power of numbers – real numbers, and real methodology – might have signaled the end of television’s (and print and online journalism’s) overpaid bloviating blowhards who “predict” election results but are really nothing more than loudmouthed partisans…

The Publishing Class System

I was boarding an Air France flight earlier this week on my way back to New York from Paris, where I try to spend a few months a year (thanks to borrowed apartments), and I noticed a Very Important Publisher sitting in first class. Surrounded by folks reading e-books on Kindles and iPads.
This isn’t unusual….

Generation Mumbo-Jumbo

If you think in terms of generations as defined by age, you’ll be shorting yourself. How many people consider themselves a Millennial or Generation X or Y or Z or zip? How many are Baby Boomers?
It doesn’t matter. But people still want to target a specific “generation,” as if that were somehow the key to…

Any Original Ideas Out There?

Maybe if you wrote a book about zombie management techniques it’ll be a huge success.
You may have noticed how few original ideas seem to be published.
The Irish novelist John Banville, who has his own well-regarded line of mysteries, is going to write a new Philip Marlowe mystery exhuming, as it were, Raymond Chandler’s iconic private…

Puffing Yourself Up in Reviews: An Iffy Prospect

A bestselling crime novelist was found to be faking positive reviews on Amazon, using a pseudonym, and it’s caused something of a tempest in a teapot in publishing circles.
The novelist, R.J. Ellory, author of the acclaimed novel, A Simple Act of Violence, among others, used the name Nicodemus Jones to award his works high praise….

Grab Your Customers’ Attention…and Keep It!

Chances are, if you’re in business, you travel.  Or, you may simply travel to recharge and relax.
Either way, you’re probably familiar with the standard [read “boring”] safety announcements that airlines are required by the FAA to announce as you back away from the gate.
The seat belts…the safety card in the seat-back pocket in front of…

Covey and Common Sense

A lot of writers spend too much time trying to figure out what their subject is.
They reject topics as too common, too boring, too everyday. But, really, when a writer speaks sense, as the late Stephen R. Covey did, it seems more original than a lot of newfangled breakthroughs for doing business.
Covey, who passed away…