Category Archives: Lies

Tip #211: Young at heart

Hi Rafe,

I wanted to follow up with you to see if you would be interested in setting up an interview with Joe [[Somebody]], co-founder of [[some company]].

Joe is a bright, young (under 40) executive who would love the opportunity to introduce himself to you…

Look, this is technology, not Congress. “Under 40” isn’t young. In fact, for execs between 30 and 40 you should probably instead say, “experienced multiple-time entrepreneur.” If you can’t, what the heck was Joe doing for the past 20 years? Doesn’t he believe in startups?

So what’s young? This is young:

Brian Wong on a slow day. (Photo by Rafe Needleman/CNET)

Brian Wong on a slow day. (Photo by Rafe Needleman)

Brian Wong is the CEO of Kiip, a brilliant mobile marketing and advertising company. He was 18, I think, when I took this picture. He gets a pass on not having three previous startups. Maybe.

Here’s my metric for “young:” If I can legally buy the CEO a beer in a bar, he’s not young.

See also: Brian Wong mines happiness (CNET)

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Tip #185: I can handle the truth

"As seen in" element on a marketing site. Just graphics, no links. Big mistake.

If, on the marketing site you want me to see, you have “As seen in…” graphics pointing to other coverage you’ve gotten, make sure you link to the coverage you seem to be so proud of. Otherwise, for all I know, the coverage was glancing, negative, or perhaps nonexistent.

But also keep in mind: Tip #49: How not to pitch.

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Filed under Common sense, Lies

Tip #143: The UI doesn’t match the drapes

If you bring a fancy new smartphone to a press event to show it off, be prepared to let us film it. Even if, as you say, “The ballroom doesn’t match the company aesthetic.”

Or come up with a better excuse.

Thanks, Kent.

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Tip #56: Decoder ring

You say: “Google’s entry into this space validates our market.” You mean: “We’re screwed.”


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Tip #53: Because it’s wrong

Don’t lie.


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Tip #31: The big lie

“We don’t have competitors.” Bullshit.


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Tip #20: Fake Busy

If you ask me how much time I have for a meeting, I will say 30 minutes. If the meeting is interesting, you’ll get an hour. Maybe more.


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