Here’s the latest entry in our 100-week series of motivational quotes, personally selected to get your week off to an entrepreneurial start.
This week: communication advice from a cartoon character.
"If something is so complicated that you can't explain it in 10 seconds, then it's probably not worth knowing anyway."
- Calvin, precocious child hero of the 1985-1995 comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes, created by cartoonist Bill Watterson.
Although this quote was put in the mouth of a six-year-old cartoon character, its message strikes me as true. The way to communicate a complex idea is to offer your listeners the 10-second version first, and then ask if they want to hear more. Otherwise you risk boring your audience - or worse.
While he was much more impulsive, Calvin shares many characteristics with Charlie Brown - mature and introspective, with sophisticated insight and an implausibly rich vocabulary.
A few more choice Calvin quotes:
"I go to school, but I never learn what I want to know."
"If you do the job badly enough, sometimes you don't get asked to do it again."
"Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless."
"True friends are hard to come by...I need more money."
"To make a bad day worse, spend it wishing for the impossible."