A *very* good friend of mine is a a lawyer, an associate at a firm of which the main focus is technology transactions. He spends a lot of his time on projects in New York with older partners in said firm. They spend all day in meetings with CEO’s and in-house lawyers and such like company, and at the end of the day, my friend and his partner (that’s what I like to call the ever-like, ever-changing older white man with whom he dines, his “partner”) go to a nice candlelit dinner and unwind. (I’m getting off point here in the details–this isn’t a story about a clandestine affair, I’m just usurping an interesting bit that my friend tells me for the bearing it has on all affairs technological.) So, over their martinis and fancy shiraz, the rack of lamb and savory breads, they discuss quite often the downfall of the written word. The partner bemoans the fact that no one will read memos anymore (ah, the memo, the lawyer’s art piece, his/her creative gem, his/her foray into the world of language and it’s frustrating limitations). The partner LIKED memos, liked writing them, liked better to have them read, hates having to explain something over and over and over again that should have been written up in exquisite detail in a memo, read once and studied again and again. The culprit?
Powerpoint. Turns out that my very good friend spends an inordinate amount of time whittling down complex ideas into bullets, into graphic representations that will fit on one large format screen. CEO’s don’t like ot spend the time reading. They want to be bulletted with information.
The result? Seems as though the powerpoint requires more meetings, less time reading, almost like teaching a semester of material to a group of students through lecture, no readings, no homework, watch the presentation and go.
One good thing for the lawyers (who still study memo-writing and write briefs in law school and still seem to spend, at least in my friend’s experience, editing others’ contracts), most business people can’t (or won’t) write.
So, hail to Powerpoint, so that the rest of us may eat . . .

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.