I’m also a bit of a fanboy for infographics. I have a view that if a story can be told on one side of a sheet of paper it shouldn’t be told.
Some years ago I read Maverick by Brazilian businessman Ricardo Semler. This was an inspiring read. I was impressed by the section at the rear where he had reduced the HR policies for his organisation to a series of posters. I thought that this was a major breakthrough, as many organisations’ staff policies and procedures are to the practice of Plain English as the Battle of the Somme was to World War I.
I have a passion for summarising stuff. This was encouraged at an early age by a grandfather who, over dinner, used to regularly ask two questions: “What are you reading at school?”, followed by “Summarise that in one sentence.” This endeavour became competitive at times in our household. My sister holds the prize for her summary of Jean M Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear saga as being about “Sex and Aryanism.” In three words Big Sis captured the essence of what Ms Auel took seven novels to describe.
Infographics are a great tool for getting things onto one page. Here’s an infographic that outlines the history of Microsoft and its significant contribution to the world of electronic connectedness. I remember well the day in 1986 when a PC was wheeled out to replace the golf ball typewriter that had previously taken pride of place on my work desktop. I’ve had a love:hate relationship with Microsoft ever since, and have recently made a determination to avoid using their products, with their associated licensing fees, wherever possible. Bill Gates cares not a jot about my cause. I guess that’s a luxury of being rich. So rich that he could probably write out a cheque for New Zealand. Well, maybe not quite...
New Zealand’s Treasury says that our assets are worth about NZ$240.3 billion. Microsoft is worth about US$240 billion. At the current exchange rate, that’s NZ$286 billion. Let’s see how these two perform over the next few years.