The essay for conveying thought in corporate America

What’s the best medium for conveying larger, more complex ideas to stakeholders within a company?

Powerpoint is good for reporting succinct facts but doesn’t handle nuance well; however, there’s no place for the essay. The word itself sounds too academic and I think people are averse to reading written reports because they fear their time will be hijacked by uninspired intellectual musing. Evan Puschak gives an alternate view, “essays should be short, interesting, and true.”

Also, good ideas for product planning and design don’t just come about naturally – they must be cultivated and developed. As Paul Graham points out: “In the things you write in school you are, in theory, merely explaining yourself to the reader. In a real essay you’re writing for yourself. You’re thinking out loud.”

It may seem faster to slam a powerpoint together, but one wonders if it’s actually more efficient to effectively communicate the first time around. Consider the missed opportunities for innovation when there’s no forum for thought between people and teams.

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