TITLE: Write a Program, Not a Slide Deck AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: June 07, 2017 1:43 PM DESC: ----- BODY: From Compress to Impress, on Jeff Bezos's knack for encoding important strategies in concise, memorable form:
As a hyper intelligent person, Jeff didn't want lossy compression or lazy thinking, he wanted the raw feed in a structured form, and so we all shifted to writing our arguments out as essays that he'd read silently in meetings. Written language is a lossy format, too, but it has the advantage of being less forgiving of broken logic flows than slide decks.
Ask any intro CS student: Even less forgiving of broken logic than prose is the computer program. Programs are not usually the most succinct way to express an idea, but I'm often surprised by how little work it takes to express an idea about a process in code. When a program is a viable medium for communicating an idea, it provides value in many dimensions. You can run a program, which makes the code's meaning observable in its behavior. A program lays bare logic and assumptions, making them observable, too. You can tinker with a program, looking at variations and exploring their effects. The next time you have an idea about a process, try to express it in code. A short bit prose may help, too. None of this is intended to diminish the power of using rhetorical strategies to communicate at scale and across time, as described in the linked post. It's well worth a read. From the outside looking in, Bezos seems to be a remarkable leader. -----