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If increasing your growth rate is your objective, this looks like a very nice first step, Joel. You disguise a PR piece as an objective "how to" in a national business publication, coming across as an authority, the underdog, and an all around nice guy who really cares about his customers.

You're an engineer who claims to be "weak" in the sales department, but all evidence to the contrary: nice "sales hack". Any reasonable person who takes your advice would be a fool if he bought from your competitor. Not bad for a couple hours work. Kudos.




Jeez, everything is a conspiracy on Hacker News. How about I wrote it because I'm a columnist at Inc and I have to turn in one article a month? And how about, they hired me because they like columnists who are actively running businesses to write about the issues they face? (c.f. Norm Brodsky, the other columnist, who has some kind of a box storage business).

None of the plumbers and dog shampoo-vendors who read Inc. do software project management. The number of leads I get from Inc readers is laughable.

Also, you're confusing sales and marketing. They're different things. We're pretty good at marketing for a company our size. We're absolutely bad at sales.


Yikes, lighten up, Joel. I really meant what I said. I have no idea how many leads you get from inc, but I bet you get a few more with that piece.

What I didn't say in my original post was that this was an excellent example of generating interest in your business while contributing to the community at large, and that quite a few of us here can learn from it. But now, I'm afraid to give you another compliment because you may misinterpret it. (Oops, too late.)

There have been many times when my post was misunderstood because I accidently omitted the <sarcasm> tags. But this is the first time the inverse ever happened. Live and learn.

</nosarcasm>


Actually, I also find your first post sarcastic.


I don't think you're technically allowed to find it sarcastic after the speaker explains that he meant what he said. Unless, of course, he's lying. But he isn't. Anyone who reads edw519 regularly (i.e. anyone who reads HN regularly) knows that's just how he is :)

p.s. edw, given your closing nosarcasm tag without an opening one, must we now assume that everything you've ever said was non-sarcastic?


p.s. edw, given your closing nosarcasm tag without an opening one, must we now assume that everything you've ever said was non-sarcastic?

Only in ie6.


I think it's perfectly reasonable to believe that the words a person used did not clearly reflect the thoughts in their head. In fact, I'd say it's fairly common. Given that, one could be "technically allowed" to find it x even though the writer insists it's y. It surely didn't sound like a compliment to me when I read it.


it's perfectly reasonable to believe that the words a person used did not clearly reflect the thoughts in their head

Sure, but that's by definition not sarcasm.


> Any reasonable person who takes your advice would be a fool if he bought from your competitor

This is almost certainly supposed to represent (the implication of) Joel's pitch, not edw's belief. I would definitely expect it to be read aloud in a sarcastic tone.


Just a suggestion if you want people to infer the tone that you intend, but using words like "claim", and "disguise", and putting quotes around words that don't normally have them, all imply a judgemental tone of voice. Of course at the end of the day the written word is a lousy carrier of emotional signal, but that's why it is important to try to check that the tone of your writing matches the intended tone in your mind.


Thank you, delackner. I've been sitting here a little mystified at how something I posted was so easily misinterpreted. Then you provided some specific feedback. It took a day and a half, but it was worth the wait.


The funny thing is that this reads like sarcasm to me as well. I think it's just your very abrupt style. "It took a day and a half" implies it should have happened quicker and it's not your fault.

Please don't take this personally!


I dunno, the fricking backlash whenever Joel and now even Jeff Atwood post anything related to their own projects is getting to the point of being absurd, personally, I don't know if I'd have the balls to post anything anymore if I was them, and if I did, I think I would also be prepared with a big FU to anyone who started with their petty little sniping. Reading the posts on the last coding horror blog makes me feel like the vast majority of the computing industry (or at least ones that participate on blogs) are just a bunch of whiny little college kids who really have no sense of the real world (once you are over 30, perhaps have a house and kids and other expenses that come with life).

Proceed with the downvotes.


edw519's post doesn't look like "backlash" to me. Just a standard reaction.

Also, daring people to downvote you is obnoxious. Please don't do it.


I do believe you meant what you said, the problem is that your original comment sounds like a backhanded compliment (not sarcastic -- that's a different thing) at best.


In his defense, I also read your original comment as sarcastic.


I don't think edw519's being sarcastic. I got the same vibe he did off that article, and I admired the article all the more for it.


He doesn't need to be sarcastic. It's just the same effect if he's sincere. Even if edw519 is sincerely complimenting Joel on 'disguising a PR piece as an objective "how to"', that's not going to be a welcome comment if Joel didn't feel he was writing a PR piece, let alone disguising it.

A sincere compliment for doing something you wouldn't do intentionally doesn't make the recipient feel good.


I for one think your writing is well suited for Inc.




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