What business analogies, idioms of rhetorics have had a large impact on how business is thought of?

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In business, I've realized the best speakers/leaders are ones that always have a vibrant way of communicating and it's not necessarily by being the most articulated. Rather, it's more a matter of clear messaging and thinking through analogies, idioms, business terminology etc.

What are some great business analogies you've heard that have impacted you and how you think about business?

Some examples: the term: 'flywheel', static vs noise, Uber being the Airbnb of cars, using a crane to lift buckets, start-ups being like 'building a plane while flying it', and then there are the great business minds of Buffet, Jobs, Rockefeller etc, who have no shortage of great analogies.

Whether you recognize it or not, effective analogies drive marketing, strategy, negotiations, and in sum draw connections that audiences remember. I'd love to hear if anyone has any great ones of their own or that they know of!
#analogies #business #idioms #impact #large #rhetorics #thought
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Stanley
    The concept of "Zero to One" from Peter Thiel changed a lot about how I assess companies and different kinds of opportunities.
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    • Profile picture of the author Hedergy
      Absolutely. I loved how that book provides so much inspiration to entrepreneurs having to adopt contrarian thought and new solutions that break former conventions, especially in how it relates to tech. I believe in his context if you're building off former solutions present in a market that there's no way to go from zero to one and truly disrupt an industry.
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      • Profile picture of the author Matthew Stanley
        well summarized - agreed. It's particularly useful for a) investing and b) "grand slam swings" entrepreneurs take ... realize those avenues aren't necessarily the sweet spot for many folks on this forum, but imo still a helpful framework.

        A few more i like that are perhaps a little closer to home:
        -James Altucher talks about the "excess capacity" economy (ie excess seats in a car, rooms in a home, space on a restaurant counter, and platforms set up to manage logistics and payments thereof)

        -Seth Godin has a couple good ones that apply to IMers of all stripes: "Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make but about the stories you tell" and "The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing" to name two
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        • Profile picture of the author Odahh
          Originally Posted by Matthew Stanley View Post


          A few more i like that are perhaps a little closer to home:
          -James Altucher talks about the "excess capacity" economy (ie excess seats in a car, rooms in a home, space on a restaurant counter, and platforms set up to manage logistics and payments thereof)

          two
          even that is in the past we are going through A Great Reset..it is happening because of rapidly advancing technology in multiple areas ..and the old economy based of explotiting and depleting resources ..is now getting replaced with harnessing infinite resources using management practices to expand available resources ..

          so we are moving to an abundance based system something along the lines of what peter diamandis talks about ..
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          • Interesting. This has certainly borne out when it comes to new ways to harvest Earth's resources/energy/etc (Matt Ridley as you may know has some awesome stuff on this) ... interesting to think about how it applies to other areas as well. I've not read Abundance (I should!) but I have read some of Steven Kotler's other stuff, where he makes a really intriguing (if only somewhat related) case for harnessing internal "technology" (different chemicals that trigger flow states) to perform at previously unthinkable levels. The evolution of extreme sports athletes being his chief example of this ...
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            • Profile picture of the author Odahh
              Originally Posted by Matthew Stanley View Post

              Interesting. This has certainly borne out when it comes to new ways to harvest Earth's resources/energy/etc (Matt Ridley as you may know has some awesome stuff on this) ... interesting to think about how it applies to other areas as well. I've not read Abundance (I should!) but I have read some of Steven Kotler's other stuff, where he makes a really intriguing (if only somewhat related) case for harnessing internal "technology" (different chemicals that trigger flow states) to perform at previously unthinkable levels. The evolution of extreme sports athletes being his chief example of this ...
              thank you for pointing out Matt ridley ..so far i like his ideas ..his view on innovation.. and our general view of it being wrong .. is excellent ..

              a large amount of the inventions and innovations that got the industrial revolution kicked of where done by relatively uneducated people ...or people who just learned in the field through trying and failing and then telling scientist of the day what they where doing and if they had any idea to help ..

              many of the greater innovations going on right now are from large numbers of people from sharing ideas and testing ..and failing until something work then sharing it with other and others doing the same and improving the ..

              but innovations that don't result in big corporation earning lots of money do not get much attention
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              • a large amount of the inventions and innovations that got the industrial revolution kicked of where done by relatively uneducated people
                Precisely. Tinkerers/"doers" tend to lead the way in innovation, which in turn is the engine behind basically all economic growth. Ridley has some interesting thoughts on the degree to which regulation inhibits innovation, too:

                "Big business, being bad at innovation, lobbies government to raise barriers to entry against entrepreneurs. Big pressure groups make hay with people's fears of the new. Big government loves banning things to justify bigger budgets enforcing the bans."
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                • Profile picture of the author Odahh
                  Originally Posted by Matthew Stanley View Post

                  Precisely. Tinkerers/"doers" tend to lead the way in innovation, which in turn is the engine behind basically all economic growth. Ridley has some interesting thoughts on the degree to which regulation inhibits innovation, too:

                  "Big business, being bad at innovation, lobbies government to raise barriers to entry against entrepreneurs. Big pressure groups make hay with people's fears of the new. Big government loves banning things to justify bigger budgets enforcing the bans."
                  well my view is there is really only one economy on the planet ..that is what the new world order actually was the interconnection of all the economies with access digital technology ..

                  the great reset will first make it as easy to send money to people around the world as easy as handing people money ..which will flatten and equalize wages and living standards around the world .. in the next 20 years ..

                  the future of farming or part of the future .. is building shipping container hydroponic farms that can be ship all around the world and can produce at least an acres worth of produce in a year with far less inputs ..and 90 percent of the water ..and run from solar panels ..

                  now they are really expensive but scale production can drive the cost down ..but where china is going through a food crisis because of the pandemic ..companies there just might steal the idea and and the government of china subsidizes the mass production ..
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