Poorly designed FAQ tells the customer “screw you”: a lesson from Sub-Zero

Poorly designed FAQ tells the customer “screw you”: a lesson from Sub-Zero

A well-designed searchable set of answers is a great resource for customer service. But if your “FAQ” is actually a huge, rotting pile of crap, you do a disservice to customers by sending them there. A little context. My home has a Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer. It came with the house. And as I learned from the…

OpenAI question: Should you trust a thief with receipts?

OpenAI question: Should you trust a thief with receipts?

OpenAI says it has proof that it didn’t steal Scarlett Johansson’s voice. Does that make it an honest company? OpenAI defends its actions Scarlett Johansson claimed OpenAI solicited her to train its latest AI, then released a voice called “Sky” that sounded just like her. Open AI says no, they didn’t use her voice, and…

The corruption inherent in addiction economics
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The corruption inherent in addiction economics

I’ve been studying the economic intersection of capitalism and addiction. It is a highly profitable and always a sordid business. A recent history of businesses based on addiction For a recent book project, I looked into what the tobacco companies did in the 20th century. We all know today that nicotine is addictive and cigarettes…

Corporations went too far. Now the government is weighing in for people.

Corporations went too far. Now the government is weighing in for people.

Two regulatory rulings yesterday revealed just what happens when companies go too far in self-serving policies — specifically, employers with non-competes and airlines cancelling flights. The FTC cancels employer noncompete agreements After a review period, the Federal Trade Commission has now banned companies from enforcing noncompete agreements (gift link). Noncompetes prevent employees from working for…

Ghostwriter, copywriter, or freelance marketer?
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Ghostwriter, copywriter, or freelance marketer?

I recently received a query to see if I, as a ghostwriter, could help with some freelance work. Here’s how the query read (I’ve made minor edits to conceal the requester’s identity): Is this a ghostwriter? No. I’ve spent quite a lot of time this year with ghostwriters. Ghostwriters’ primary job is, of course, writing….

Fair warning: Recruiter William Vanderbloemen behaves like an ass

Fair warning: Recruiter William Vanderbloemen behaves like an ass

Will your future employer treat you like a slave with no personal time? If William Vanderbloemen is recruiting you, that might be a clue. According to Business Insider, Vanderbloemen has devised a few little tests before and after job interviews to see how candidates behave: Vanderbloemen’s company uses the text-message test [sending candidates a text…

Tesla design elegance and the death of Angela Chao

Tesla design elegance and the death of Angela Chao

The design elegance of Tesla cars exceeds that of any other vehicle. Tesla’s iPhone-like design aesthetic starts with the sleek exterior design (putting aside the horrifying CyberTruck, of course) and continues with the touchscreen-based center display, which elegantly integrates every function from navigation to climate control. That design aesthetic may have contributed to the death…

The case of Boeing: can incentives reduce risk?

The case of Boeing: can incentives reduce risk?

In the wake of continuing safety issues with Boeing aircraft, the company announced it was changing the incentives for how people are paid in its commercial aircraft division. Now, 60% of the bonuses will be based on quality and safety metrics. Previously, 75% of the bonuses were based on financial metrics. I’ve watched incentives and…

AT&T will cough up 5 bucks to subscribers affected by its outage. Is that enough?

AT&T will cough up 5 bucks to subscribers affected by its outage. Is that enough?

After an extended outage on February 22 that left around 50 million mobile customers (including me) without service for many hours, AT&T is crediting some people’s accounts by $5. Is that the right compensation? What went wrong AT&T says the cause of the problem was an error in installing software — and there is no…