Why is it so hard for us to explain things? “We do it every day and we can take it for granted.” Lee went on to note that, just as learning to be a better runner, you can learn to be a better explainer.
The curse of knowledge gets in the way. “It curses us by forcing us to use jargon, add examples, and more.” Lee notes that it’s best to err on the side of being familiar. “We’re not dumbing it down, we’re making it familiar.”
How to make an explainer video. Common Craft has produced explainer videos that have earned over 50 million views online. All of these are grounded in solid explanations. Where do you start? “Start like you’re talking to your parents—explaining what you do and why it matters.”
This will be a good time! Two lively Brits, Grant and Paddy, host a live show called The Visual Jam. I will be their guest on July 8th to discuss The Art of Explanation and Common Craft videos. Register for Free.
Have you ever had a great idea for a product or a service or maybe an improvement to your business, but people just don’t seem to get it? More often than not it is because your idea has an explanation problem.
Well, fear not because Lee LeFever, co-founder of Common Craft and author of The Art of Explanation, is going to join us for a fun, interactive session where he will give us a sneak peek into the process that Common Craft follow to produce their world famous explainer videos – from script to storyboard to final content and animation!
Octopuses are having a moment right now and I admit to being fascinated by them. If you’re wondering, the plural of octopus is not octopi because the word comes from Greek and not Latin. Anyway, here are my recommended octopus stories in four forms:
My Octopus Teacher (Netflix) – This film won a well-deserved Oscar. It’s the story of a filmmaker who befriends an octopus for over a year. But it’s so much more. The filmmaker, Craig Foster, free-dives in frigid water off the coast of South Africa and captures the drama of octopus life in beautiful form. Watch the Trailer.
Octomom (Radiolab Podcast) – A team of researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium discover, via a robotic submersible, a deep-water octopus who is protecting 160 eggs a mile beneath the surface. They visit her each month for four years and document her unbelievable process of hatching the eggs over time.
The Soul of an Octopus (Book by Sy Montgomery) – Sy is a nature writer who became fascinated with octopuses. This book is her story of learning about and getting to know a handful of giant pacific octopuses behind the scenes at aquariums and in the wild. It’s a little woo-woo in spots and I wish it had more science, but was a fun read if you don’t mind the idea of animals in captivity.
It was a pleasure to have a discussion with Belinda about Big Enough and the potential for businesses to be designed with happiness in mind. One of the subjects that came up was the idea of “drag” in a business and how easy it is for businesses to accumulate processes and details that create drag. Our goal was to always look for the most lightweight ways to solve problems and believed that reducing drag was one path toward the lifestyle we wanted.
It was such a pleasure to connect with Terry and talk about Common Craft and Big Enough. She read the book and has serious experience in online business and marketing. In my experience, that is a great combination for fun and interesting interview. She is eight seasons into her podcast and has a voice made more audio.
This was such an interesting and fun interview. Part of the reason is Rodney’s smooth and confident demeanor. He’s composed and understated, but speaks with great confidence. By the end of the interview, I felt like we were friends. I hope you’ll give the show a listen. You can also read the interview on his blog.
Scott Riddell and I had a meaningful discussion about our story and Big Enough. As the name of the Soulfront podcast indicates, Scott is helping to share the soul of entrepreneurship and I think he does that with kindness and wit. Here’s the video of our discussion:
I write books and run a company called Common Craft. I recently moved from Seattle to a rural island. Here, I write about online business, book publishing, modern home construction, and occasionally, dumb jokes.