Think for just a minute about the specialists who make a difference in your company or organization. Let's say you're a product manager. An IT specialist may keep your computers and networks up-to-date and working smoothly. A marketing specialist may help you see opportunities to reach new customers or help to identify features customer want. A programming specialist may help you discover ways software can make the product more powerful. Together, these specialists and others become a... Continue Reading
The best I can remember, my formal education in written communication ended in formal letter writing. We learned where to put the return address and date, how to write a salutation and where to sign it. While these are still valuable skills, in the past ten years, I have used this knowledge approximately zero times. Yet, I have likely written tens of thousands of emails over the same period. No one ever taught me how to communicate with a computer or email. It just happened - I got a... Continue Reading
The march towards publishing The Art of Explanation continues on swimmingly. The publisher recently sent over "page proofs" which are hard copies of the book as it will appear in the real thing. Reviewing the proofs is our last chance to make any corrections and changes before the book gets printed. When I send these puppies back, my work (in writing at least) is pretty much done. Phew. The book comes out in print and ebooks on October 8th. Here are some photos of the proofs... The book has... Continue Reading
Today we're shooting a video and part of that process is taking every piece of paper and spreading it out on the whiteboard. Then, we go through the storyboard and organize the images by scene and put them aside. This is nearly every cut-out that will appear in the video. Any guesses about the title of this one?
Recently I saw an animated video by the Private Equity Growth Capital Council that seeks to answer the question: What is Private Equity? Here’s the video: Below I'm using a single scene from this video to highlight an important element of explanation: building and sustaining confidence. This video is likely a response to the news surrounding US presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who founded a private equity firm called Bain Capital. It’s an issue that can be controversial and my point... Continue Reading
Well, The Art of Explanation book is getting a lot more real. A few days ago we finalized the cover for the book: What do you think? If you'd like to track our progress, check out the Art of Explanation website.
Over the past month, Sachi and I have been neck-deep in ideas surrounding explanation, and it has been one of the most creative times in our lives. As you may remember, I'm writing a book called The Art of Explanation that will be out in October of 2012. To make our deadlines with the publisher, we took time this month to focus almost solely on the book - and that we did. I've written and Sachi has edited almost 60,000 words in the last month or so, which is much more than will appear in the... Continue Reading
Today we’re announcing a new video: Twitter for Business - Explained by Common Craft. Twitter has been a big part of the Common Craft story. In 2008 we made a video called Twitter in Plain English that was present on the Twitter home page for over a year, introducing millions to both Twitter and Common Craft. Since that time Twitter has evolved in many ways. As it became a powerful way to track news and discover information, we made a video on Twitter Search. Now that it’s become a... Continue Reading
Today we're announcing a new video: Web Browsers - Explained by Common Craft. Based on suggestions and votes from our members, this video provides an introduction to Web browsers and their most powerful features. It’s meant to help less technical people see the browser as software that makes web pages easy to manage. Along with basics, the video also provides direction on using browser extensions, tabs, search and even the “find” tool for searching a single page. This video is part of our... Continue Reading
It’s true. The book is called “The Art of Explanation” and it should hit the shelves in the fall of 2012, published by Wiley & Sons. The Big Idea: The Art of Explanation is built on the very simple idea that explanation is a skill that can be learned and improved. The book is designed to help people rethink how they communicate and learn to package ideas into simple explanations that make people care, whether it’s at home, work or school. Background: For many years, I’ve been a... Continue Reading