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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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Be a Tiger?


As most of the world knows, Tiger Woods was back playing golf for money this weekend.

Sunday, I was at the airport waiting for my flight and found myself watching the finish of the Masters tournament with a bunch of other folks outside an airport bar. With about two hours to go in the tournament, the [...]

Suprise Inspections


Does your company “take the pulse” of employee satisfaction once a year, or perhaps twice? Does it do so at regular, scheduled times?

Do all the managers scramble in the six weeks ahead of the survey to provide “morale” or “motivation”? (And do half of them spell it “moral”?)

Does it work?

The same goes for employee feedback [...]

The Blinder Side


My kids are watching The Blind Side as I write this. I’m sort-of watching and writing, but I saw it some months ago when I took my nine-year-old son to see it in a tiny (75-seat) theater in Friday Harbor in Washington’s San Juan Islands.

(The island in the San Juans where we have a place [...]

Who Wrote Shakespeare's Plays? Drawing a Lesson in Management


There has long been academic debate as to who wrote the work attributed to William Shakespeare.  (The word “academic” is important; see below.)

Most recent attention has focused on Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. There is a whole cottage industry devoted to these so-called Oxfordians. I won’t go into all their arguments, but here’s a [...]

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