Weekly 3: Families vs. Companies, Negative Space & More


Idea Journal Weekly 3

October 8 · Issue #3 · View online
We combine 3 ideas to help you think differently and be more creative.

#1. Tolstoy wrote that "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." For companies, the opposite may be true.
In his book Zero to One, entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel references Tolstoy’s opening line from Anna Karenina to show how it contrasts with a business environment: “All happy companies are different: each one earns a monopoly by solving a unique problem. All failed companies are the same: they failed to escape competition.”
#2. When broadly defined, the concept of negative space can be just as relevant in storytelling as it is in graphic design.
From the hidden arrow in the FedEx logo to dozens of other examples, negative space is used in graphic design to give images additional meaning.  
Such a “well-organized absence of information” is also at the heart of engaging narratives, as Pixar filmmaker Andrew Stanton explains in his TED talk “The clues to a great story.”
#3. To capture an organization's essence and core functions all on one page, use the Business Model Canvas.
In addition to providing a consolidated view of how an organization works, the Business Model Canvas also encourages you to ask basic but fundamental questions, such as: Who are our key customers? What value are we giving those customers? 
Quote of the Week: "The error is needed to set off the truth, much as a dark background is required for exhibiting the brightness of a picture."
- William James in his essay Great Men, Great Thoughts, and the Environment
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