The Why before the Why

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Before “Why They Buy” there’s “Why They Shop” Every company is interested in why people buy their products, but rewind time a bit further and you’ll find even more fundamental insights. Before someone goes buying, there’s a reason they go shopping. There are usually a few events that lead to the desire — or demand — to shop. Something happens… keep reading

Work culture — important things you can learn from my salon

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I’ve been seeing the same hair stylist for years — Valerie. Not only do I consider her a friend (and of course great at keeping me proud of my hair), she’s full of interesting lessons about business. She’s even recently opened up her own salon. (I’ve written about her and her partner before.) I was chatting with… keep reading

Trade shows — Tips from our first effort

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In 1844, Pabst Blue Ribbon was founded. They were a big player in the beer industry selling 18 million barrels of beer a year at peak in 1980. But then, things got bad. They went through two decades of losing sales. In 2001, they sold fewer than a million barrels of beer. Something had to… keep reading

The Boss You Don’t Want to Be

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Here’s the one thing that separates good managers from the bad. Most of us have had two different types of bosses during our careers: The Boss Everyone Wish They Had and The Boss You Don’t Want to Be. Recently, I was reminded of the latter — The Boss You Don’t Want to Be — when talking to two friends the… keep reading

Enter the dot matrix

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Illustration by Nate Otto Troy Henikoff was a college student in 1984 when he wrote his first program, a piece of software to help his grandfather’s steel warehouse manage their inventory. That summer project led Troy to start his own software consulting business a couple years later. This is an atypical Distance story about beginnings, endings… keep reading

Kotlin: It’s the little things

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Kotlin has a bunch of amazing features, and certain ones tend to grab the headlines — things like extension functions, higher order functions, and null safety among them. And rightfully so — those are all incredibly powerful, fundamental features of the language upon which everything else builds on. And while I love those features, there are a handful of… keep reading

Interview or Interrogation?

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Interviewing for a new job is so nerve-wracking. The adrenaline kicks in, and you are trying so hard to keep it under control. Trying to deliver the polished answers you prepared and rehearsed over and over. Hoping that you don’t slip up, or get tongue-tied. There’s the weight of an entire future sitting on your… keep reading

How to be original

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My wife and I recently visited Next, a restaurant here in Chicago. Next is part of the same group that created Alinea, one of the top restaurants in the world, founded by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas. A visit to a place like Alinea and Next makes it obvious why they win so many awards… keep reading