Category: Business Takes

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One Action That Automatically Makes You a Better Listener

I recognize the value of multi-tasking. In today’s business environment, the staccato nature of incoming requests requires one to toggle back and forth across many tasks at once. Maybe the Boy Scouts should offer a merit badge for handling Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram while cooking freeze-dried mashed potatoes. Yet, one of the inevitable downsides of …more

A Case for Uber’s No. 2 Executive Coming from the PR Ranks

Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, posted on the company’s website last week that the hunt is on for a No. 2 executive: “We’re actively looking for a Chief Operating Officer: a peer who can partner with me to write the next chapter in our journey.” While hiring a No. 2 doesn’t guarantee a change in a …more

CliffsNotes on the Silicon Valley Index

The Silicon Valley Index from Joint Venture Silicon Valley leaves no byte unturned. For those who don’t have the time to wade through 100 action-packed pages, I offer the CliffsNotes, filtered by 25+ years of living of in Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley is Larger Than Rhode Island Taking in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, …more

Is $4 Toast and the Tech Industry Still Ruining San Francisco?

Yesterday marked the three-year anniversary since VentureBeat and Jolie O’Dell’s focus group of one correlated expensive toast to the decline of San Francisco. The O’Dell discourse came with jagged edges, damning the tech industry for a cycle that goes something like this: Someone creates a business for consumers with too much money and pretensions of …more

Showmanship Trumps Expertise in A PR Agency Review Process That’s Broken

The typical process that guides a company in evaluating PR agencies and ultimately choosing a winner is broken. It was broken when I participated in my first new-biz meeting — wicker furniture, of all things; we did not win — in 1983. It’s still broken today. In the vast majority of PR agency reviews, the …more

The Back Story (and Drama) Behind 20 Years in Asia

The Agency opened its doors in Asia on Oct. 20, 1996. It has been an amazing, fun, torturous, weird, satisfying, frustrating and enlightening run. I made my first trip to Asia in 1994 as part of a press tour for Hyundai Electronics (now known as Hynix). After researching PR resources in that part of the …more

10 Charts from the Silicon Valley Index that Caught My Attention

Joint Venture Silicon Valley is incredibly thorough in putting together its annual index on Silicon Valley. Perhaps too thorough. Reviewing the 100-page document might be best described as a trudge. To save you the time of plodding through the pages, here are the CliffsNotes.   Where Invention Happens The combined patents generated in Silicon Valley …more

Did Apple’s “Customer Letter” Work in Defending Civil Liberties?

In one corner we have the biggest, baddest and most valuable company on the planet, Apple. In the opposite corner sits the U.S. government getting more ornery by the minute. As you know by now, the government has asked Apple to unlock a phone used by a terrorist in San Bernardino. Apple has refused, believing …more

TIME Magazine Puts Its Own Spin on Native Advertising

As PR-led campaigns increasingly blend tactics such as paid media, native advertising bears watching. I called out the genre last month suggesting most of it should be called “alien advertising.” Still, with the rules of the game being invented on-the-fly, we’re seeing fresh wrinkles like this native advertising campaign by Ryder in TIME Magazine. Here’s …more