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I’ve been writing this week on demos and presentations.

Monday I wrote about Joel Spolsky’s wonderful demo of Fog Creek’s new products. Joel did one other thing at his presentation that I found very interesting. He didn’t introduce himself (nor was he introduced by anyone else).

Pretty much everyone in the [...]

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I’m writing this week about presentations and demos.

I wrote Monday about Joel Spolsky demoing his product “in passing,” without overtly appearing to demo it. It was a terrific idea, brilliantly carried off.

However, few of us demo products whose use can be woven into the presentation itself. (Think of demoing PowerPoint itself for the [...]

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I’ll write this week about demos and presentations, based on a terrific software demo I saw Thursday.

It was delivered by Joel Spolsky, the brains behind Fog Creek Software and a brilliant thinker about various computer issues.

To set the scene, he and his team were doing a roadshow tour of Fog Creek’s new releases, the unfortunately [...]

It’s Friday: Dumb UI of the Week


First, the dumbness. Second, lessons from this dumbnosity.

I went to put in my Visa info on a site, as shown in the picture. Note that the MasterCard radio button is selected by default… though I didn’t see that at the time. I know my name, of course, and even the card’s expiration date, but I [...]

A Semi-Off-Topic Post for a Friday


The off-topic part is that it involves baseball. The “semi-” part is that it’s about leadership, an all-too-rare quality.

Morgan Ensberg is a former slightly-above-average infielder for the Houston Astros and a few other teams. But he’s also a keen observer of the game.

(Related question: Why do great players rarely make great managers? There are exceptions [...]

What Do Fake Rolexes, Overpriced Wine, and iPhones Have in Common?


What do fake Rolexes, overpriced wine, and iPhones have in common?

They’re sold the same way to the same types of consumers.

Luckily, the wine and iPhones haven’t hit the spam-bucket the way watches have recently. Watch spam is probably running a close third to 419 spam (“Esteemed sir, I am requesting for urgent business relationship….”) and [...]

Yet Another Stupid Attack on PowerPoint


This article from Harvard Business Review attacking PowerPoint is one of the least sensible ones I’ve seen. Somehow, I assume that folks at HBR have some real-world and not just B-school “B” experience (as in the “B” in HBR). Indeed, David Silverman has written some very good posts in the past, so this one just [...]

How to Get Fired


Nah, this isn’t about how to screw up at work. Rather, former pro baseball player Morgan Ensberg has written a terrific story about the day he got fired (they call it “released” in baseball).

People get fired. People have setbacks in their life. It’s not always their fault or within their control.

What matters is what you [...]

“PowerPoint Makes Us Stupid,” Part II


Yesterday, I shared a slide from a New York Times article about the use and misuse of presentation software. I railed about the misuse of PowerPoint, offering four real issues instead of the shibboleth put forth in the Times article:

Bad presentation design is making us stupid.
Bad presenters are making us stupid.
The use of bullet points [...]

“PowerPoint Makes Us Stupid” — True or False?


There’s a lot of brouhaha today stemming from a report in the New York Times about PowerPoint negatively affecting the US military apparatus. Super-smart graphics maven Nancy Duarte, for example, chimes in here.

A lot of discussion centers on the complex chart topping the NY Times article. Ex-McKinsey consultant and PowerPoint guru explains (and partly defends) [...]

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