Communication

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Writing good computer code is like writing a good story or email

Writing is hard. It doesn’t matter if it’s computer code, a story, or an email. And the interesting part is, no matter what you’re writing, it’s hard for the same reason. It’s tough to transport yourself from the mind of a writer to the mind of a reader. I recently listened to an older episode
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What I learned by watching a Marissa Mayer interview

Yesterday I watched Emily Chang interview Marissa Mayer, Yahoo!’s CEO, on Bloomberg. My immediate takeaway? I was thoroughly unimpressed with Mayer.  I know that’s a harsh, and possibly unreasonable, judgment to make after one interview. Still, she lacked charisma. I was frustrated by how little thought she gave to any of the questions. (She basically
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Sears executives show why talking about business can be meaningless

Executives rarely give you interesting information when they talk about their companies. They rely on jargon and platitudes they know will play well with investors. I’m painting with a broad brush, but if you read enough press releases, or listen to enough earnings calls, you’ll see how rare an interesting comment is. An example where
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Engineers struggle with soft skills in a unique way

The Harvard Business Review (HBR) published an article on Tuesday titled “Two-Thirds of College Grads Struggle to Launch Their Careers”. Here’s one section that resonated with me: …employers question whether a traditional undergraduate education arms students with the soft skills needed in the workplace—problem solving, critical thinking, communications, and working in teams. An analysis of
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Executives and investors, with your career in the middle

The rich are getting richer. You’ve heard the statistics. The wealthiest 1% of people in the world own over half the world’s wealth. The wealthy look for places to invest all this capital. They look for a good return. Large businesses are a prime target for these investments. Why does that matter to us? Because
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“A new kind of globalization wrapped around a new industrialization.” What?!

I recently read a Bloomberg article about Jeff Immelt’s leadership of GE. The article has an embedded video, showing a brief Q&A-style discussion. Tom Keene was one of the interviewers, and here’s one of his questions, with my emphasis added: A lot of people will talk about Immelt as executive of the year last year,
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The STEM to Business Manifesto

Large companies are larger today than they’ve ever been. They dominate the global economy. Your financial health is tied to the performance of large companies, whether you work for one or not. I built this site to help you, and me, learn more about How business are built, Why they work the way they do,
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A pleasant surprise is more pleasant, and more surprising, than you think

I published an article on LinkedIn yesterday titled “A pleasant surprise is more pleasant, and more surprising, than you think”. It’s an extension of my previous post here on STEM to Business about how Tesla uses surprise to earn free advertising. The more I’ve thought about this, the more I realize how important the element
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Are you ignoring the power of surprise?

Matthew DeBord published an article over the weekend on Business Insider titled “Tesla has one huge advantage over every other car company”. The huge advantage? Free advertising. It’s not just that people talk about Tesla. People love Tesla. I thought about DeBord’s article when I read Seth Godin’s blog post today. Here’s the last bit of
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Warren Buffett thinks 2% GDP growth isn't so bad

Have you read Warren Buffett’s 2015 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders? You totally should. He published it Saturday morning, and it’s fantastic, as always. The reason I like Buffett’s letters so much is how clearly he thinks, and then how clearly he communicates his thinking. There’s a section of this year’s letter where he addresses
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