Moes Takes: Communicating with ...


good writing quotesI introduced a regular feature called Moes Takes last month.

As a refresher, I worked with Rob Moes who was VP of marketing for Philips in the mid 1980s. During an interview at COMDEX, a reporter pressed Moes for projections on how many CD-ROM drives would be sold looking out five years. Rob responded “That’s like asking Mrs. Magellan how many lunches to pack.”

That’s why I call these fresh quotes culled from recent publications “Moes Takes.”

Here’s Round II.

“If you’re going to climb Mount Everest, you can’t do it with gym shorts and sneakers.”

Alan E. Salzman, Chief Executive, Vantage Point Venture Partners
Venture Capitalist Dick Kramlich’s Last Stand
BusinessWeek (January 21, 2010)

It’s not enough to be clever. Accuracy counts too. I challenge anyone to find a photo depicting Sir Edmund Hillary in gym shorts and sneakers.

Dulled-down version:

“If you’re going to address a major challenge, it’s important to prepare properly.”

Thank you Amy Gooch for sending along the following:

“Instead of bobbing around like a cork in water David Cameron should level with the British people.”

Lord Mandelson, British Politician
Tory policies would strangle recovery at birth
The Guardian (February 1, 2010)

If there’s one place the proletarian can visualize the bobbing of a cork in water and recognize something dodgy has transpired, it’s the UK.

Dulled-down version:

“Instead of changing his mind, David Cameron should make and communicate his decision to the British people.”

Next up:

“I am certainly not an acolyte or even a fan of the Holy Church of the Carbon-Free Atmosphere or its leader, the Reverend Al Gore.”

T.J. Rogers, CEO, Cypress Semiconductor
CleanTech: Silicon Valley’s Next Great Wave of Innovation
San Jose Mercury News (January 30, 2010)

T.J. Rogers knows how to turn a phrase, which explains a profile that belies niche semiconductor status. I haven’t seen him bust out the religious terminology since ’96 when he publicly crushed a nun for questioning the diversity of his board.

Dulled-down version:

“I do not support the initiative for a carbon-free environment or the leaders of this movement.”

And last, from the sports world:

“They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but what if the tree is on a hill?”

Jim Irsay, Owner of the Indianapolis Colts
A Jam Session with Jim Irsay
Sports Illustrated (January 25, 2010)

I like this one because it shows how you can take a cliche and make it fresh by adding one simple twist.

Dulled-down version:

“According to the saying, sons are like their fathers, but there are exceptions.”

If an extraordinary quote catches your attention, please e-mail it my way (lhoffman at hoffman dot com).

Leave a Reply