29 July 2015

F%$# Me, I Agree with Jeff Bezoa

Yes, the founder of Amazon, a company whose treatment of its workers makes Walmart look like an organic food cooperative has banned PowerPoint presentations:
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is not a fan of PowerPoint presentations.
Anytime an Amazon worker has an idea to discuss, they're asked to structure their pitch in the form of a four-to-six-page memo, which the company calls a "narrative."

They then take their pitches to team meetings, where the first 20 minutes or so are spent reading the memo. After, the presenter fields questions from the rest of the team.


Pete Abilla, an early Amazon employee and current director of digital, content, and demand generation at HireVue, shared Bezos' email in a recent post on his employer's blog.


A little more to help with the reason "why."

Well structured, narrative text is what we're after rather than just text. If someone builds a list of bullet points in word, that would be just as bad as powerpoint.

The reason writing a 4 page memo is harder than "writing" a 20 page powerpoint is because the narrative structure of a good memo forces better thought and better understanding of what's more important than what, and how things are related.

Powerpoint-style presentations somehow give permission to gloss over ideas, flatten out any sense of relative importance, and ignore the innerconnectedness of ideas.
OK, I am now feeling some grudging respect for that wanker.  He absolutely nails the deep banality that is inherent in PowerPoint.

I don't like feeling grudging respect for him.


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