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Editorial

Google’s Sundar Pichai has failed the ultimate leadership test

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Unless you have been living under a rock, you must have heard about the Google Memo drama that the company is going through right now.

The memo, written by former Google employee James Damore in pseudo-troll fashion attempts to explain why 80 percent of Google’s tech employees are male.

It points to large cultural biases but also suggests a potential genetic component by illustrating some of the ways the distribution of qualities differs across male and female populations.

Now I have actually read the memo several times. This is very important because most of the critics who are responding to this memo clearly haven’t read it.

The author was extremely meticulous about the way in which he made his points and the use of supporting data.

And yes, I do understand that this memo has become something of a rorschach test – people seeing what they want to. You could see it as a sexist dog whistle and you could see it as thoughtful discourse – I get that.

While I am not going to discuss the conclusions of the memo itself here, I will say this – the sloppy manner in which Google CEO Sundar Pichai has handled this has exposed serious problems both in Google and the valley in general.

The firing of James Damore

Just a few days after Mr. Damore’s memo came to light, he was fired.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai had sent a note to employees that said portions of the memo “violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.” When Google representatives were asked about the dismissal, they referred to Pichai’s memo.

The quick firing of James Damore was absolutely the worst move Google could have made in a situation like this.

To understand why, you actually have to read the memo.

First of all, (once again) the author was meticulous about the points he made and they weren’t made flippantly or overtly disrespectfully.

Second, the author was careful to avoid drawing broad based conclusions but to basically throw out (in many cases) factually accurate data and start a conversation.

James Damore was fired because he wasn’t politically correct and “fake offended” Google and the PC valley’s sensibilities.

The hypocrisy of Google and the valley

The irony here is that most people skip over one of the reasons the memo was written in the first place.

“former Google employee James Damore in pseudo-troll fashion attempts to explain why 80 percent of Google’s tech employees are male

James Damore didn’t do that, Google and the valley did. While these companies in silicon valley talk the talk, you have to understand that they (in most cases) don’t walk the walk.

How do I know this? Oh maybe because I have lived in the bay area and worked in the valley before.

The bay area is one of the most racist and sexist parts of the United States. The really sad part is that it is racist and sexist in large part organically. They really don’t do it on purpose.

The chai-latte drinking, Tesla driving, stock option and IPO loving group are quick to jump on the James Damores of the world but he’s not the problem, he just exposed a much bigger one.

You see Damore is like the uncle at the family reunion who wants to ask about a rape everyone else would rather not talk about. Yes Uncle Bucky isn’t the most sensitive and it’s probably not the right time and place for the discussion but the rape actually happened.

Unfortunately it’s always easier to shoot the messenger.

What should the Google CEO have done?

This memo was actually a massive opportunity for Google.

Their CEO had the perfect opportunity to make this a teachable moment. He should have held a townhall meeting with all executives and streamed it live to the internet.

  • He should have acknowledged the existence and popularity of the memo and then using facts, ideas and science-based thinking, presented Google’s counterpoints.
  • He should then have made it clear that while Google is open to ideas from all idealogical parts of the spectrum, this memo came dangerously close to crossing the line and explained what that line was and why.
  • He should also have acknowledged that sexism in Google and the valley was a real problem and then, point by point, outlined what Google was doing to change things.

The bottom line is, he should have faced this head on – like a strong leader.

Rather, he chose the cowards way out, huddling with lawyers and HR and choosing to shoot the messenger. Disappointing.

The bottom line

At a recent Alphabet shareholder meeting, a shareholder asked executives whether conservatives would feel welcome at the company. Apparently, executives disagreed with the idea that anyone wouldn’t.

“The company was founded under the principles of freedom of expression, diversity, inclusiveness and science-based thinking,” Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt said at the time. “You’ll also find that all of the other companies in our industry agree with us.”

This seems like total bullshit today.

Like it or not, with this firing, Google has made it abundantly clear that they only want to hear from employees who agree with their group think. What’s even worse is, they have shown that they don’t have the tools and capacity to thoughtfully deal with employees that don’t.

That is unfortunate.

P.S. This whole conversation is a conversation you should only partake in if you read the memo completely. To not do so and continue to opine anyway is just ignorant.

Onuora Amobi is VP of Marketing at Learn About The Web. He has an extensive background in both Online Marketing and Enterprise Technology solutions.

1 Comment
  • James Freeland

    I couldn’t agree more! Well written! Unless you’re a lefty who loves Obama, Google doesn’t want to hear from you!

Digital Marketing Training

13 Steps To Building A Profitable High Traffic Technology Blog – Part five – WordPress Hosting

This is part five of my blueprint that will help you begin the process of building a high traffic profitable technology blog.

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Wordpress Hosting

This is the fifth post in the series.

In part one, I talked about some of my experiences with some of the successful high traffic websites I actually built.

In part two, I shared a little about my belly of the whale strategy, a methodology I use to identify potential software niches to get into.

In part three, I talked about the importance of putting together a baby business plan.

In part four, I described the importance of not wasting time on a logo.

This is part five of the blueprint that will help you begin the process of building a high traffic profitable technology blog.

Today I want to recommend WordPress Hosts to you.

What is a WordPress Host?

A WordPress Host or hosting company is simply the company that hosts your WordPress website files. There are a ton of companies out there that do web hosting but here is everything you need to know in a concise package.

To cut a long story short, there are 2 ways to deal with hosting for WordPress if you’re new to building a business.

  1. The dumb way – get regular hosting and figure out all the tweaking and maintenance.
  2. The easy and efficient way – with managed hosting.

What is WordPress Managed Hosting?

Managed hosting is exactly what it sounds like – hosting that is managed for you. God I wish I knew this when I started 15 years ago.

You see, a WordPress website has more parts that need maintenance than most people understand.

When you’re building an online business, you need to worry about the following:

  • The WordPress installation
  • WordPress version updates
  • WordPress environments
  • The database
  • FTP/SFTP
  • PHP
  • The theme
  • MySQL
  • Plugins
  • Performance
  • The CDN (if you’re savvy enough to manually install one)
  • Hacking and security
  • Images

and more..

When I started out building websites, I had to learn how to manage all this stuff at once and ended up paying contractors to handle one thing here, then another thing there etc. etc.

It adds up and even worse…

It’s a massive distraction from your business!

Most people don’t want to know this stuff and more importantly, don’t need to know all this stuff.

That’s where a good WordPress Managed Host comes in.

The role of a good WordPress Managed Hosting company

It’s real simple, a good WordPress Managed Hosting company will have one goal and one goal alone – to keep you protected from all the bullshit you don’t have to worry about.

They help you with the install, troubleshooting becomes their problem 100%, they worry about performance, security is all their business, on and on it goes.

At the end of the day, they allow you to focus on your business.

While there are a few good hosting companies out there, I only have one recommendation.

Wp Engine

WP Engine – Link here

I’ve been on their platform for years and can’t say without equivocation, I couldn’t stay in business without their company.

They are reasonably priced, they have 24/7 chat support, they have the most pleasant staff in the industry and they look after their customers. In addition, their control panel makes site management on the back end a breeze.

You can learn more here.

A managed WordPress company allows you to stay focused on your core business and that is invaluable.

It’s really that simple.

Head to their site and sign up for a reasonably priced hosting package and you’re in good shape.

WP Engine plans

In the next article, I’ll show you what WordPress Themes I recommend for you to get started quickly.

Enjoy!

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Digital Marketing Training

13 Steps To Building A Profitable High Traffic Technology Blog – Part Four – your logo

This is part four of my blueprint that will help you begin the process of building a high traffic profitable technology blog.

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Logos

This is the fourth post in the series.

In part one, I talked about some of my experiences with some of the successful high traffic websites I actually built.

In part two, I shared a little about my belly of the whale strategy, a methodology I use to identify potential software niches to get into.

In part three, I talked about the importance of putting together a baby business plan.

This is part four of the blueprint that will help you begin the process of building a high traffic profitable technology blog.

Today I want to teach you how to get a logo for your business.

What is a logo?

Simply put, a logo is a symbol or other design adopted by an organization to identify its products, uniform, vehicles, etc. You are obviously familiar with some of the more famous ones.

famous logos

The importance of a good logo

Logos are relatively important for an online business but their value is misunderstood by most online entrepreneurs. A lot of people starting out in this business obsess about the logo.

  • What color should it be?
  • What size?
  • What tagline?
  • What image?
  • Vertical or horizontal?

I brought a friend along to help you.

The Rock It doesnt matter

As my friend the Rock just told you – NONE of this matters.

If that sounds like anathema to you I’m wagering that this is your first Rodeo and you still have time for all that quaint nonsense.

Let me be clear. At this stage in the game, your logo does not matter one bit.

What this does not mean

  • Doesn’t mean you should have an ugly logo.
  • Doesn’t mean you should pay ZERO attention to it.
  • Doesn’t mean that you should not have one at all.

What this does mean

  • Does mean that you should acknowledge this task is low priority.
  • Does mean that you should spend no more than 2 days on this task.
  • Does mean that after 2 days, your logo concept should be “good enough”
  • Does mean that this is a task that you should come back to.

So this begs the question..

Should I buy a logo or design one myself?

Great question – easy answer.

If you have the skills, put one together in less than 48 hours. If not, buy one.

This begs the next question..

How much should I pay for a logo?

Great question – yet again another easy answer.

50 dollars.

No more than 50 bucks is what you should spend on a logo because quite frankly, anything more is a waste of money.

This begs yet again the next question..

Where should I get this new logo designed?

I would have given you a different answer a month ago but I found  a really cool place where you can actually get your logo design for cheap.

It’s called BrandCrowd.

This is a really cool service where you can buy or alter really cool logos for reasonable prices.

While you can spend more than $1000 to buy a logo, that would be dumb. Pick something cool, modify it and keep it moving.

I did this in 3 hours for another site I’m building – https://www.laptopvideoreviews.com.

Laptop Video Reviews

 

This took 3 hours and cost me $45. Logo done. I recommend BrandCrowd because it’s really easy to use and simple to get a good logo done.

Summary

When you start out in this business, a logo can drive you CRAZY and you can spend months trying to get the right colors and branding and sizes etc.

FOCUS ON YOUR BUSINESS!

Don’t get distracted because here’s the secret – you can always double back and get a better logo later. It’s better to have a viable business and a crappy logo than a beautiful logo and a failed business.

It’s simple.

In the next article, I’ll show you what WordPress Themes I recommend for you to get started quickly.

Enjoy!

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Editorial

Who approved never get Hulu as an ad slogan?

I’ve seen some DUMB ad campaigns in my life but Never Get Hulu is by far the worst one I have ever seen in my life.

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Never get Hulu

I was watching the Emmys last week and then an ad came on.

It had a ton of celebrities who were serious and telling me to listen and pay attention.

They start to talk somewhat comedically about a bunch of things I should never do – never fly first class, never get a king size bed, never get a walk in closet etc etc.

At this point, there are hints of comedy creeping in…

Until the final punch line “..and most importantly Never Get Hulu”.

My wife and I are marketing professionals and immediately looked at each other thinking the same exact thing.

Who at Hulu gave the green light to this ad?

Why would you get people’s attention and use the words “Never” and your brand name in the same sentence? From a marketing perspective this seems extremely stupid.

Yes, it gets people like me writing about this and talking about it and sharing the ad. Got it.

HOWEVER, it imprints very negative keywords next to your brand name into people’s psyche’s forever.

Never Get Hulu.

I absolutely don’t get it but hey what do I know, maybe they know something I don’t so I should probably take their advice.

I DEFINITELY won’t get Hulu.

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