Change Your Mind - Carney
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Change Your Mind

Apply these principles to content writing.

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Mental Models for Content Marketers

Let’s get academic for a minute. These 5 mental models can radically shift your perspective and shock you out of a content rut:

  • The Gordian Knot: Address complex problems with unconventional, simpler solutions, similar to how Alexander the Great cuts a knot with his sword instead of attempting to untie it. This principle emphasizes the value of reframing problems and seeking higher-level solutions to make issues seem less complicated.
  • Chekhov’s Gun: Any prominent element introduced in a story or article should have a meaningful impact on the plot or content. This principle warns against making promises in introductions or headlines that aren’t fulfilled in the subsequent content, emphasizing the importance of delivering on what is initially suggested.
  • Arbitrage: This means to find a valuable item at a low cost and resell it for a higher price. To apply arbitrage to content writing, take undervalued ideas from one context and repurpose them in a different context to increase their value, such as translating financial concepts into marketing or making dense information more accessible in blog posts.
  • Hamming Question: Mathematician Richard Hamming asked, “What are the most important problems in your field?” In content marketing, consider if the content being produced tackles the most substantial challenges faced by the audience and whether it’s achieving meaningful outcomes rather than simply adhering to routine schedules.
  • Oblique Strategies: These are intentionally vague directives aimed at breaking creative ruts and fostering new ideas. For example, “Give way to your worst impulse” encourages the creative to abandon their current approach and consider alternative perspectives, ultimately leading to a more focused and potentially unique outcome.

Check out the Animalz post for more.

Smash or Pass

Eddie Bauer changed their logo because, reportedly, “Gen Z doesn’t read cursive.”

Eddie Bauer logo in script, and the newest Eddie Bauer logo in a sans serif font with a bird

Microsoft Lists

Microsoft’s new Lists app is a smart info tracking app for all of your personal and collaborative lists. With rules, reminders, comments, customizable views, and ready-made templates, you can organize whatever you’re working on or toward. And the UX is nice and tidy, like your tasks.

Stand Up To Yourself

Stand Up To Yourself

Monica Lewinsky has released a powerful PSA against bullying — self-bullying, that is. In the spot, people read eviscerating self-criticisms to one another to illuminate how vicious we can be to ourselves.

Ads from the Past


Sears, 1972


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