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Do you see the face or the vase in this image?

You’ve probably seen this graphic before: It’s called Rubin’s vase. Some people call it the Rubin face. The name you prefer probably depends on the figure you see when you look at it—the white vase in the middle or the faces on the sides. The interesting thing about this graphic is that while you can […]

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Why we start, but don’t finish, so many things.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a large stack of books on your desk that you bought because you want to learn from them. And, if you’re anything like me, that stack gets bigger every year, not smaller. I’ve started almost all of them, but am stuck in the first few chapters. What’s more, […]

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How a story saved a 900-year-old landmark

If you’ve ever been to Paris, you’ve probably visited Notre Dame de Paris, the gothic cathedral in the heart of the city. It’s a beautiful building with an amazing history. It took 285 years to build and is one of the first buildings to use the architectural innovation of flying buttresses. It’s where King Henry […]

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The #1 thing you want every customer to be

The other day I interviewed an electrical engineer for a project I am working on. I was trying to understand a complex device that mitigates power factor error and power harmonics—and more importantly, the people who buy these devices. Don’t worry, that technical stuff isn’t really part of this story. Were potential buyers interested in saving […]

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Timex and Beowulf and a copywriting secret you should know

Last week I asked you to think back to your history class in high school. This week, I’d like you to think back to your English class, where you probably heard a version of this story… Hrothgar, the King of the Danes, had a great hall where he dined with his warriors and the other […]

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How a 16-year-old boy duped Boston and what you can learn from it

Think back to college or maybe high school for a minute. Or maybe back to the historically dubious movie, National Treasure. Do you remember Silence Dogood? She was a middle-aged widow, living in Boston in 1722. She wrote 14 letters published in The New England Courant that became the talk of the town. In one, she described herself […]

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The marketing secret every astronaut has drilled into them

Last year, on a short visit to Houston, I had the opportunity to visit the Johnson Space Center with my family. We ate space ice cream (yuck), saw moon rocks, and rode the simulators. But the highlight of our visit was a short tour of the original Mission Control and seeing the massive Saturn V […]

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The marketing secret that turned a bathroom book into a best seller

Have you heard of The Great American Bathroom Book? The author calls it the “most important bathroom book in American history” which makes me wonder what the second most important bathroom book is. Tangent. Sorry. Chances are good that you’ve read part of The Great American Bathroom Book. Or you’ve seen it in someone’s bathroom. You might […]

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Getting your customers to say “yes” faster

Confession: I am a browser tab junky. Right now I have close to 100 tabs open in 11 different windows. Some have been open for weeks. Because I want to come back to them. Each tab is either an article I want to read, or a sales page I want to study, or a conversation I […]

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Agitation—the seldom-used secret for creating desire!

Does your product solve a problem? I know… silly question. All successful products solve a problem for someone. And helping your customers see that your product is a solution for whatever problem they have is the first step to making the sale. But it usually isn’t enough. Let me give you an example… You know […]

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