In June 2005, I started writing this e-newsletter.
My wife, Peggy, who is the publisher, came up with the idea of having takeaway points—a short collection of bulleted one- and two-liners or short paragraphs at the end of each piece—that summarize why a particular column might be worth reading.
I assume readers are very busy. I have no interest in wasting anybody’s time.
For example, many blogs start off with the writer clearing throat, rolling up sleeves, rubbing hands together, by which time the reader is on Page 2 with nothing to show for the time spent. That is why my private definition of the typical blog is “a cross between a blob and a bog.”
Put another way: It is imperative to remember that on the Internet a writer is one click away from oblivion. If I don’t ruthlessly self-edit, the reader is gone in a twentieth of a second.
Readers of Business Common Sense can scan the lede, and if they have no interest in today’s subject, can be out of here in less than 20 seconds, maybe with a useful takeaway or two, maybe not.
Every now and then a reader would write me and ask if I ever were planning to publish a collection of the takeaways. I said thanks for the suggestion (I personally answer all e-mail correspondence), and put the idea on the back burner.
In 2010, I moved the idea to the front burner and what turned up is:
If you like what follows, you’ll find more information and how to order at www.dennyhatch.com
I persuaded the publisher (my wife, Peggy) to offer readers a fat pre-publication discount.