Thursday, November 01, 2012

Why Good Writing Still Matters

Last month, the HBR Blog Network published a piece by Kyle Wiens, the CEO of iFixit (the largest online repair community) and founder of Dozuki (the software team behind iFixit).

Mr. Wiens, if you’re ever in New York, I’d like to buy you lunch. I admire a man who truly appreciates the importance of the ability to write well.

Every applicant — and that includes writers, salespeople, operations staff and programmers — for any position at either of his companies must take and pass a mandatory grammar test. According to Wiens, it makes good business sense.

“In blog posts, on Facebook statuses, in e-mails, and on company websites, your words are all you have,” he writes. “They are a projection of you in your physical absence. And, for better or worse, people judge you if you can’t tell the difference between their, there and they’re.”

The best you can say of many current forms of online communication these days is that they are succinct. Abbreviations, acronyms, emoticons and 140-character tweets have elevated brevity to an art form. On the other hand, they’ve also opened the door to lazy, sloppy and confusing communiqués. Clarity, on the other hand, confers credibility: an invaluable business asset.

Kudos to a senior executive who understands the power of a well-crafted sentence!

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