Mark Twain

Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) famously said “I do not have time to write you a short letter, so I have written you a long one”.

This statement is a pitch for twitter 100 years before it was conceived, as the sentiment of clarity through brevity is the same. Writing to convey an idea is a challenge, writing to convey an idea in a few words requires a discipline of thought that can be extremely hard.

The restriction of Twitter to 140 characters does seem to encourage a written shorthand that I find excruciating, but at its best, also adds a discipline to constructing an idea that squeezes out the superfluous, the hyperbole, the distractions,  and forces clarity by brevity.

It seems that the “Twitter Pitch” is replacing the “Elevator Pitch” first made popular by Dale Carnegie, but the idea is the same.