Explaining Big Enough

February 13, 2020

By: Lee LeFever

I write books and run an intentionally small company called Common Craft. Here, I share what I'm doing and learning.

One of the side-effects of being known as an explainer is the tendency for people to pay close attention to how I explain ideas large and small. I can imagine them asking a question and then waiting to see what amazing analogy I can pull out of my hat. Of course, like asking a comedian to be funny, it doesn’t typically work that way. The explanations that support my livelihood take many hours to craft.

Now that I have a book coming out, I’m facing another kind of explanation challenge in the form of explaining Big Enough. It seems like every time I write about it, I take a slightly different path and I’m constantly wondering if I’ve stumbled upon the one explanation that works best.

Yesterday, we published a new Common Craft video that explains the difference between “online” and “local” documents. With each new video, we send an email newsletter and yesterday was the first time I mentioned the book. Here’s what I said:

Common Craft Co-founder Lee LeFever has a new book arriving in May 2020. The book is called Big Enough and it tells the story of building Common Craft to be an intentionally small company over the last decade. If you’re curious about the company behind the videos and saner, healthier approaches to entrepreneurship, you’ll love it

Like so many before it, this little promotion will come and go. And that’s the problem. I could craft the best, more productive summary and never know if it hit the mark. Further, because it’s for a specific audience, there’s no guarantee it will work in other contexts. Such is life as an explainer. I find solace in the fact that each time I write about the book, I’m practicing and hopefully, getting better each time.

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Just before Big Enough went to the printer, I learned there were a handful of blank pages at the end of the book. The book designer asked if I’d like to use them for promotion or a section for “notes”, etc. It seemed strange. Couldn’t we just remove the extra pages? I asked my editor and she followed up with this article about printing books.