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Make it all about something bigger; or why does reading the Economist make me want to cheer?

There are times while reading the Economist, that I've felt like getting up and cheering. That's right.
Standing up, fist-pumping with my lips pursed determinedly and going "oh, yeah." (Look at yon baby pic attached.)

Yes, I know I'd look ridiculous.

I've wondered why, and my answer was generally because
  • the magazine consistently says smart things with solid reporting and great insights
  • I often agree with a lot of their views and analysis
  • their sense of humor and whimsy (oh, its there!) works for me.
I'd always believed that the main reason the magazine was able to elicit this response was because they often took a stand - not the writers - the magazine.

Articles back people, or condemn policy, or make recommendations without equivocating. They always phrase it as "This magazine supports..." or "The Economist strongly condemns..." or "We affirm that .."

But watching the Jack Dorsey Golden Gate bridge talk made me realize how they're able to do this and why this is so important.

I'd completely missed the importance of not having bylines in the Economist. Everyone understand they're committed to working for the Economist and not putting their own name on the articles. As a result, two things happen:
  • there's considerably less hesitation in involving others in helping with the articles, likely leading to better work.
  • you can then put the weight of the brand behind positions much more easily which is so much more powerful.
If you do this well enough, often enough, the brand of the magazine improves and credit for every brilliant piece of work accrues completely to the brand of the magazine. - which is one of the points in the talk: focus on making it all about the company and not the individuals.



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