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The Curse of Knowledge Can Poison Your Message

This morning I was listening to a Fresh Air interview with Ben Affleck about his latest movie, Argo. As he described the creative process of directing a previous movie, he said, “I didn’t like it when I saw the first assembly…”

There was more chatter between him and Terry Gross before I realized that “assembly” likely meant a first edited version of the footage, though I can’t be sure.

In his Ignite Seattle talk at Town Hall, author and Common Craft creator Lee LeFever calls this the Curse of Knowledge: When you know something so thoroughly, it makes it hard for you to understand what it’s like not to know.

Don’t be an organization that communicates under the Curse of Knowledge!

It’s rude to your visitors, who will be too distracted by their lack of knowledge to fully digest your message.


Our friend Lee LeFever just released his first book, The Art of Explanation. We highly recommend you check it out!

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