Many years ago, a tennis coach of mine told me that every shot in the game is contextual. For example, some shots only make sense under certain circumstances. Tied at 5–5, deuce in a decisive third set inheres a different mindset than being down 5–1, 40-love in the first.

And then there are shots like these:

I think about this metaphor quite a bit when I coach authors. Many neophytes understandably think that they only need to write a manuscript, find an agent, and land a traditional publishing deal.

If only it were that easy.

Even established authors like…

Below is an excerpt of my new baby Reimagining Collaboration: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and the Post-COVID World of Work. In it, I set the table for the rest of the book.


I’ve have the pleasure of talking to dozens of authors over the years. During those often fascinating conversations, I have learned that a book’s backstory is often as interesting as the idea behind the book itself — if not more so. That’s may well be the case with my new book Reimagining Collaboration: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and the Post-COVID World of Work.

Let me explain.

Reimagining Collaboration: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and the Post-COVID World of Work

By way of background, my previous two books were Slack For Dummies and Zoom For Dummies, respectively (Wiley, 2020). As I was writing the latter, it dawned upon me how much the two internal…

Regardless of the specific language, you can’t get far in computer programming without Booleans. I’m hardly a proper developer, and I’ve known as much for more than 30 years. (Thank you Carnegie Mellon.)

As you can see below, the and statement connotes exclusivity.

Image from

I often think about Boolean logic in the context of books and the coaching work that I do. Specifically, the power of exclusivity and the and statement.

Let me take a step back. Since the advent of the Web, it’s only become easier to express your views. …

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

— Theodore Roosevelt

I suspect that just about every author has walked into a bookstore and asked the following questions:

  • That book is on the end cap? (#SMH)
  • Why would anyone buy that author’s books? He’s a hack.
  • Where is my book?

Ditto with viewing books online. To be fair, though, the questions tend to vary slightly:

  • Why is that book ranked so much higher than mine?
  • How do so many people like that book?

I’ll cop to a certain degree of envy. After all, it’s only natural. I’d be shocked if most aspiring…

These are particularly valuable as glue to stitch together hubs and spokes. That is, I can get Expensify to "talk to" Slack via Zapier. #ReimaginingCollaboration

Long before I could call myself a professional writer, I read quite a bit.

Many times, I had no choice over what I was supposed to read. This included hundreds of texts in high school, college, and grad school. In my consulting days, required reading included:

  • Confusing corporate policies
  • Long requirements documents
  • How-to books on software programs I needed to learn
  • Manuals on courses that I ultimately taught

Long story short: If I encountered bad writing, there wasn’t much that I could really do about it. I had to slog through.

That’s no longer the case.

These days, other than…

I’m betting that you have found the last year or so mentally challenging. I sure have. At least we can take solace in the fact that we’re not alone. Consider the following statistics:

In June of 2020, the American Psychiatric Association revealed that:

  • 36 percent of Americans say coronavirus is having a serious impact on their mental health.
  • 59 percent feel coronavirus is having a serious impact on their day-to-day lives.

I suspect that those numbers have only increased since then.

While Covid-19 is a relatively new —and hopefully temporary — phenomenon, the idea of feeling overwhelmed on the job…

What’s my new book about in 82 fun-filled seconds?

Watch below to find out.

Phil Simon

Keynote speaker, trainer, advisor, recovering college professor, and award-winning author of eleven books, most recently Reimagining Collaboration.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store