When I am bored or traveling, I write the 21-Word Review part of this blog. While this is entertaining for me, it may be obnoxious and/or tedious for my reader(s). If you would like to view this blog with no reviews or other trivia, click here. If you would like altogether better content, allow me to recommend the Google "I'm Feeling Lucky" button.


Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The 21-Word Review: Mean Girls (2024) (Delta In-Flight)

Fans will notice the subtle changes. Real fans will embrace them all and go along for the ride. Tina Fey rocks.

Monday, May 27, 2024

The 21-Word Review: ISS (Delta In-Flight)

I imagine the pitch - the effect of a planetary war on the astronauts aboard the space station - was greeted with enthusiasm.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

The 21-Word Review: An Immense World by Ed Yong

Absolute highest recommendations. Every page fascinates with new and amazing information. I suspect it was as fun to research as read.

Monday, April 15, 2024

The 21-Word Review: The Importance of Being Earnest (Google)

I have to direct a version in March and I've never seen it before, so my Android TV helpfully offered this.

Thursday, April 04, 2024

The 21-Word Review: The Place Beyond the Pines (Delta)

Reminded me a lot of "Crash", with lots of implausibly interconnected characters and a desperate need to make a heavy point.

Wednesday, April 03, 2024

How to Best Blow Off an Analyst at a Trade Show

Having been an industry analyst for a couple of years now, I think I'm starting to get it down. We just returned from another huge trade show where we get the opportunity to talk to dozens of smart people doing very smart things. Despite our best efforts to schedule meetings in advance, inevitably some of them don't come together at the last minute. Some of those conflicts are handled well. Others less so. 

In the interest of aiding anyone on the other side of the meeting schedule who might want to know the best way to blow off an analyst when something more important (like a customer meeting) comes up, I am providing this simple primer. Techniques range from best to worst, in that order. Yes, I have experienced them all.

Best: Reschedule in Advance

As little as a day before or even the morning of, you send "I'm sorry, a conflict has come up and I need to reschedule." The odds are slim of your friendly neighborhood analyst having another opening to reschedule to, but this gives them a chance to reuse that time for walking the floor, catching a presentation, seeing a demonstration, or (!) eating a meal. Bonus points if you offer to schedule a call after the show is over to catch up.

Next: Reassigned at the Booth

The friendly neighborhood analyst shows up just as a major customer unexpectedly walks into the booth. You apologize and assign someone else to show off the booth. "I'm sorry, I really wanted to have a chance to talk with you, but my customer just showed up. Perhaps this sales person / booth expert / intern / CEO can show you around the booth instead?" Friendly, reasonable, and still informative. Bonus points if you actually schedule a call after the show is over to catch up.

Next: The Squint and Ignore

When your friendly neighborhood analyst shows up, you take their contact information into a closed conference room to let the assigned executive know that he/she/they have arrived for their scheduled meeting. Your executive exits the room, squints confusedly at the analyst, shakes their head, and re-enters the room. The best way to handle the Squint and Ignore is to apologize that you have no real control over the executive's schedule and move into Reassigned at the Booth mode. The worst way to handle the Squint and Ignore is to shrug your shoulders and stare at the analyst until they slink away.

Next: The No-Show

Sometimes meetings aren't scheduled at booths, usually when the clients don't actually have a booth. And sometimes the client simply doesn't show up, leaving the friendly neighborhood analyst standing awkwardly in a public place, staring at their phone in the hopes that no one can see their shame. There are very few ways to recover from the No-Show, but a phone call, text, or email apologizing profusely and explaining that you didn't merely forget that the meeting was planned can help. The worst way to handle the No-Show is to completely ghost your friendly neighborhood analyst then call a week later to ask for help on a quote.

Next: The Wave and Disappear

The friendly neighborhood analyst shows up just as a major customer unexpectedly walks into the booth. You wave at the analyst and enter a closed meeting room with the customer and do not respond to communications from the analyst. The analyst is left standing awkwardly in your booth, not knowing if you plan to come out of the meeting room or not. A simple text is all that is required to move from the Wave and Disappear to Reassigned at the Booth or even Reschedule, but you should already know that, right?

Worst: The Open Disdain

We, the analyst community, mostly understand that we are the sideline reporters and not the star players. However, even sideline reporters are treated with common decency by the players and coaches (until they write a tell-all book, at which point this analogy falls apart because friendly neighborhood analysts would never do that to our clients and friends). So when we show up for a meeting to hear lines like, "it's ok, you can interrupt, they're just analysts" or "sorry, someone more important just came in" or "we just don't have time for you today" sans explanation, it sets a tone that's hard to recover from. We try our best to always be impartial and not let such treatment impact our reporting, but if we have room to squeeze in one more reference to something interesting, Open Disdain may mean your technology isn't on the top of our list. (In fairness, Open Disdain booth operators typically do not value analyst report mentions.)

Bottom line, treat analysts as you would have analysts treat you. We're eager to learn, grateful for your time, and understanding of our position in the pecking order. I look forward to scheduling a meeting with all of my fabulous clients and contacts at the next show. And if you can provide a chair to sit on while we talk, that would be glorious.

The 21-Word Review: SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard

Just to be clear, I wanted to read this book long before the "dads are obsessed with ancient Rome" memes started.

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

The 21-Word Review: Anatomy of a Fall (Hulu)

Do not watch this movie on a platform that interrupts with commercials for Single Parent Dating sites. Seriously, that was jarring.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

The 21-Word Review: Wonka (Max)

Gene will always be the gold standard, the tone and music (and laughs) were top notch this time around. Definitely recommended.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The 21-Word Review: Maestro (Netflix)

I'd love to see the script, just to read how the dialog was presented to the actors. And a great soundtrack.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

The 21-Word Review: Napoleon (Apple)

I studied French in school, but have forgotten a lot. After the movie, I put his biography on my wish list.

Monday, March 25, 2024

The 21-Word Review: Knock at the Cabin (Amazon)

Read about the original book ending, but only after you've finished watching this version. Sometimes the ending really should be changed.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

The 21-Word Review: Dune Part 2

Remarkable. More directors should be this familiar and faithful to source material, especially classic material this rich, complex, and well defined.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

The 21-Word Review: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (Max)

I felt throughout the movie that I would have enjoyed it much more had I only still been 13 years old.

Friday, March 22, 2024

The 21-Word Review: Killers of the Flower Moon (Apple)

At some point we need to have a different category than "movie" for the kinds of epics that Mr. Scorsese crafts.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

The 21-Word Review: My Family and Other Animals (YouTube)

The final Greece pre-trip movie recommendation. Very faithful to the book, and Imelda shines as the matriarch. Two for three overall.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

The 21-Word Review: Clash of the Titans (Apple TV)

Another Greece pre-trip recommendation. Yes, the original. No, it has not aged well. That makes one for two, Mr. Steves.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

The 21-Word Review: The Guns of Navarone (Netflix)

For an upcoming trip to Greece, Rick Steves has a list of recommended movies. It got my wife to watch MacLean!

Monday, March 18, 2024

The 21-Word Review: The Marvels (Disney+)

Marvel, it's time to start making more movies that don't require you to have seen 3 prequels and 2 limited series.

Monday, February 12, 2024

The 21-Word Review: Being Henry by Henry Winkler

I was going to post a photo of my wife meeting Henry, but that would have been 1000 words, not 21.

Friday, February 02, 2024

The 21-Word Review: Poor Things

The weirdness in the trailer just scratches the surface. It's not the quirky, fun movie you may be led to believe.

Thursday, February 01, 2024

The 21-Word Review: Three Thousand Years of Longing (Amazon)

I spend way too much time trying to determine what my three wishes will be when I finally find that lamp.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

The 21-Word Review: The Creator (Delta In-Flight)

Not terrible, but the best thing about it is that it is exactly the length of a LGA to ATL flight.

Monday, January 29, 2024

The 21-Word Review: Priscilla (Amazon Prime)

A fascinating contrast to the other recent Elvis movie. He was not just a victim, but a victimizer. Hard to watch.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

The 21-Word Review: The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (Amazon Prime)

Waiting until the dystopian YA furor fully died before releasing this very watchable prequel was genius. Nicely done and well cast.