Larry Ellison

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

A good envelope shouts, "OPEN ME NOW!" The fat blue carrier from "David Birnbaum, Private Jeweler Extraordinaire" did just that. Birnbaum's name and address on the label were in shiny gold. The name on the address in gorgeous script: "Mr. Denison S. Hatch"

My colleague and client, Bob Doscher, loves FSIs. "When a Valassis FSI ('shared mail') goes out, CEOs of love it!" Doscher once said to me. "When these cents-off coupons are delivered, he can look out the window and see the trucks full of his products leaving the warehouse to stock supermarket shelves." FSIs are generally for down-market products and cashed in by those who love savings.

When it comes to Apple, hope and pessimism spring eternal. Just ask the accidentally dueling billionaires Carl Icahn and Larry Ellison. Oracle Co-Founder and CEO Ellison, in a interview with Charlie Rose that aired on "CBS This Morning" last Tuesday, predicted that, as the Los Angeles Times summed up in a headline, "Apple is doomed without Steve Jobs." He conveyed his feelings in a sort of real-time infographic: "We saw Apple with Steve Jobs," Ellison said while raising his finger. "Now, we're gonna see Apple without Steve Jobs," he added while dropping his finger. 

Remember the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)? Before smartphones, it seemed as though everyone was building mobile versions of their websites in WAP form. This even happened again for a short while with smartphones until app stores arrived. Now it seems more attention is being paid to making apps than making versions of websites optimized for smartphones screens. Given the app craze and the amount of money being made from apps, it seems logical that this shift has been happening.

By Ivan Levison In a recent Sunday issue of The New York Times, I came upon a 12-page insert promoting The Economist, a wonderful magazine that I've enjoyed for years. The production values of The Economist's slick piece, designed to attract new subscribers, were absolutely first-rate. The insert featured four-color printing, attractive art direction, a terrific "free trial" offer, etc. There was one big problem, however. The two-page pitch letter, included as part of the mailer, sounded as if it was written by a non-native speaker. I just don't get it. I wish someone could explain to me how a letter like this ever

By David Garfinkel As the world’s richest investor (and second-richest person after Bill Gates), Warren Buffett attracts a lot of attention for his stock-market savvy. Unfortunately, most people in business do not have the time, the skill or the money to follow in his financial footsteps. But just about anyone could learn and profit from Buffett’s business skills and philosophy. He’s unusually open about how he runs his business and lives his life. Buffett’s business philosophy and his own persona have been achieved by his adherence to five not-so-secret secrets. Secret #1: Know your strengths and weaknesses; admit your likes and dislikes. “I was wired at birth to

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