say what you need to say (but not like that)

September 9, 2019

People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole. (Theodore Levitt)

You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. (Bob Dylan)

A woman is closest to being naked when she is well dressed. (Coco Chanel)

You can put any statement into three broad categories:

  1. Academic/full of shit
  2. Simple
  3. Insightful

And any statement can be translated to any of these categories:

  1. Knowledge of the current state of one’s experience is best learned through the living of said experience (when possible), not through second-hand observation.
  2. It’s no use in asking other people what’s going on, just go experience it yourself.
  3. You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

It follows that if you want a statement to be impactful, you should translate it as such. As Jeremy Bullmore says in Apples, Insights and Mad Inventors, a good insight is like a refrigerator because the moment you look into it, a light comes on.”1

(Alas, it might take me a long time to be as insightful as the quotations listed above.)


  1. This book is pretty good. I have almost no background on Jeremy Bullmore, the book’s author, but he seems like a most remarkably smart fellow. If you’re into marketing and/or smart writing, it’s worth the quick read.