Tag Archives: idea

Shorter is better

37Signals

An old French mathematician said: “A mathematical theory is not to be considered complete until you have made it so clear that you can explain it to the first man whom you meet on the street.”

Your key message, your unique product or service, your key point of difference should resonate with everyone.

(And surely your message isn’t as complex as a French mathematical theory.)

Boil it down until everyone understands it. Unless everyone can understand it, few people will.

Here are some quick ways to test this out.

Explain it to your dentist.

Explain it to your barista.

Explain it to your parents.

Explain it in 140 characters or less.

It’s right

One of my favorite movie scenes happens midway through Good Will Hunting. The main character, Will (played by Matt Damon) hands in a solution to a difficult proof to a genius math professor. Despite understanding Will’s genius, the professor challenges the proof and his method for solving it. Will insists, “it’s right”.

goodwill

Watch the scene above or on YouTube here. (warning for my 8-year old followers – it does contain some adult language)

When pushing a new idea or an improvement, there will always be dissenters; people that are terrified of the slightest change to the status quo. Stick to your guns. Show them why it will succeed.

If you’re passionate, ignore the dissenters and execute with reckless abandon.

If that means you need to light your idea on fire to prove a point, do it.