I keep stumbling across older books that never caught my attention before. I'm currently reading two excellent books by Harry Beckwith: Selling the Invisible (1997) and The Invisible Touch (2000) which I'd never heard of before two weeks ago. Maybe I wasn't ready.
"Many outstanding big-picture thinkers are always looking for, and burdened by, this search for perfection. But too often, the path to perfection leads to procrastination.
Don't let perfect ruin good."
—Selling the Invisible, p. 76
"For years, physicists discussed an important phenomenon: the gravitationally completely collapsed object.
Physicists knew these objects had profound implications. These objects could answer the question "How did the universe be begin, and how might it end?"
For years, this discussion was just among leading physicists. Then some creative physicist devised a better name for a gravitationally completely collapsed object.
He called it a black hole.
Suddenly, the whole world was interested. People were intrigued by the concept of a hole in space, which itself already seemed like an enormous hole. The idea of something black in space, which already is black—well, this whole concept intrigued millions of people.
Now people were talking. Sci-fi movies featured half-mad cowboy astronauts rushing suicidally into black holes.
The words "black hole" changed how people thought. Most important, the words helped people get the idea of a gravitationally completely collapsed object.
Your words matter. One word or metaphore can quickly define your concept and your uniqueness, and make your concept compelling."
—Selling the Invisible, p. 193
"The first good lesson of marketing, then, may be this. Look. Just look around. And look carefully. See what is there—rather than what you expected to find."
—The Invisible Touch, p. xiii
"You need to take not just a wise look at your business, but a naive one. You want someone who will clearly see the folly that you and others too close too the business are missing. You need someone who sees what they truly see, instead of what they think you want them to see. You need to stop, pull back, look, and have an outsider help you look.
Find a boy to tell you what your emperor is wearing."
—The Invisible Touch, p. 22
I'm insatiably curious. When I discover a writer who reinforces what I think, it's great. When I find one who challenges me and even makes me think something I've never thought before, that's the Holy Grail of reading.