I’ll Eat My Own Dog Food

I was going to call this article “What I Did on Summer Vacation,” but I realized if that were the title, nobody would read it.

Keith and I have both enjoyed vacations this last month. Keith and his family spent their traditional two weeks at their beach house in Southern Shores, North Carolina. (How’s that for a name?) They enjoyed the beach, the sea air, and the slower pace of life that comes with living at the beach.

A week after Keith got home, my girlfriend and I spent eight days touring Paris, Normandy, and London. I realize in some circles it’s fashionable to dismiss the French as “cheese eating surrender monkeys,” but we found them almost uniformly gracious and welcoming. (Having said that, they sure do like their cigarettes. Ick.) London was fun, too, albeit pricey. (The bar at the hotel where we stayed in Covent Garden was called “Good Godfreys,” which the hotel says takes its name from the former leader of the house band. However, when we opened the menu and saw what worked out to be $35 for cocktails, we both said “Good God, they can’t be serious.”) Read more…

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Succeeding in a competitive field like taxes can seem difficult. There’s no shortage of competition. But plenty of tax business owners do succeed, and very nicely at that. So how can you join those ranks? Is there an easy, paint-by-numbers formula you can use to do it yourself?

Two recent books shed light on the answer. Together, they offer a profound strategy that you may find easier to implement than you imagine.

Peter Thiel co-founded Paypal and was Facebook’s first outside investor. His new book, Zero to One, is based on a class he taught on Startups at Stanford University. But while his credentials are 21st-century Silicon Valley to the core, his secret to success dates back to the robber barons. It’s good, old-fashioned monopoly. Read more…

Marketing Lessons from Donald Trump

A priest, a minister, and a rabbi walk into a bar. The bartender looks at them and says, “OK, what’s the joke?”

Don’t like that one? How about this? Three governors, two former governors, three senators, a brain surgeon, and a reality-TV star walk onto a debate stage in Cleveland. America looks at them and says, “You’ve got to be kidding.”

That’s right, folks, Campaign 2016 is here! The first Republican presidential debate is tonight! Political junkies are quivering with anticipation. NBC’s Chuck Todd is so excited he hasn’t been able to sit still in a week. Read more…