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NITHY works in meetings too

NITHY works in meetings too

The concept of NITHY (New Information That Helps You) headlines to get someone’s attention can work in meetings too. Especially when it’s hard to get a word in edgewise. Just distill what you want to say into a headline. When you find that small gap in the dialog, you just insert the headline.

If it’s powerful enough, then even if someone else speaks at the same time, your comment will be the one people will respond to. In my experience, you’ll know when you’ve been successful because the eyes in … Continue Reading

Tater Tot Casserole #1

Tater Tots from Mash Up #1

  • Write your own business bio. Pre-tell your own story to plan your career.
  • Test your headlines too.
    Headline: “New Info That Helps You”.
    Headlines Should Be NITHY not Pithy.
  • Weekly corporate mash up might be a good idea. Each team member contributes one potato. Team is given time to digest and jot down tater tots. Tater tots are discussed and new ones are created.

You can see the original potatoes here.


Mash Up #1


  • Test ads scientifically.
  • Successful headlines offer self-interest, news, curiosity.
  • Stories = Success
  • Atomic theory of business size — quantum leap in required resources for S, M, L, and XL businesses.
  • Freemium is only model for content and needs 100,000s of eyeballs.
  • Learn like a renaissance man. Focus like a mobster.
  • Each day. First recover. Then perform minimum required maintenance. Finally, progress.
  • Balance mindfulness and multitasking.

Mash these ideas together and provide your tater tots in … Continue Reading

The mental mash up as a social object

I’ve found that my concept of the mental mash up — smashing random thoughts (potatoes) together to see if the spur new ideas (tater tots) — has the most interesting results when the potatoes are quite different from each other.

Recently, seeing the concept of the “social object” (the thing which causes a social dialog — bowling, a news article, a friend’s new car) come up on various fronts, I began to wonder what would happen if I published my pile of potatoes to some friends to see what tater tots THEY might come up with. … Continue Reading

Nithy not pithy

I’ve come upon a formula that helps me make sure my important emails get read.

It’s a lesson I learned from Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy. Among other things, he argues that advertising headlines should always appeal to a person’s self interest, and ideally offer news and/or make the reader curious.

I’ve distilled it down to “Be NITHY not PITHY,” where NITHY stands for New Information That Helps You. A friend and I actually tested this in an internet ad that wasn’t working. We used the NITHY format for the ad headline … Continue Reading

Mental Mash Up

A mental mash up is something I do to get new ideas — to see things in a different way.

I collect “potatoes” over time. A potato can be a wise saying, an interesting blog post, a concept that keeps popping up in various places, or maybe something funny someone said at work.

After I’ve amassed some number of potatoes, I pile a bunch together and mentally mash them. I try to combine two or three, to see if some new thought comes out of it. I refer to these new thoughts as “tater tots” — small edible bites that are reconstituted … Continue Reading

Inaugural post

The Think Tap is the spigot out of which flow my thoughts on business and career. Enjoy!