Jazz, Art, Play, and Abstracting Your Business


Your readers, your audience, and your customers are changing their habits; how they get information; how they interact with media; how they manage their professional network; how they do business.

These changes will, inevitably, affect how they interact with your brand; their needs will evolve; their expectations will shift. Perhaps it hasn’t happened yet. Perhaps it won’t happen for a long time. But for many industries, it is happening today.

So the question remains, everyday: How do you sustain and maximize what is working, yet prepare for an evolution within your customer base that has not yet fully revealed itself?

  • Forget about thinking outside the box.
  • Forget about thinking inside the box.

I propose: abstraction.


What is abstraction?

“Abstraction is the process of removing detail to expose the essential features of a particular concept or object.”

To abstract something, is to understand its core structure, core value, and core purpose. Here are a few places we see abstraction in our culture:

  • Jazz is abstraction.
  • Art is abstraction.
  • Play is abstraction.

Each of these are a process of understanding; a process of breaking barriers; a process of finding the truth. How is this any different for business? For B2B media? For our individual goals?

Why abstract?

To retain focus on the core value of what you do, and why you do it, and not simply guard a structure and process that lacks the growth potential. I am not just talking about business and revenue growth – but growth in reaching more of your audience, and better serving their needs.


Abstraction can be:

  • Simple.
    Abstraction is often about breaking things down to their core value, not complicating them with unnecessary elements. What is the primary problem you are solving for your audience. Who – exactly – is your audience? How does your product make this connection?
  • Subtle.
    Dramatic change is not the goal. Small, incremental changes can lead to abstraction without confrontation with existing processes.
  • Enlightening.
    Discover new things about your industry, and new ways to serve your audience. So often, we don’t realize what limits us until we freely disregard existing patterns and rethink what it is we are tryng to accomplish.

How do you abstract? You blend your expertise, your experience, your passion for your work, with a very simple idea:


It is forgetting the process, but remembering the goal.

So how do you bridge that gap between what you already do well, what your industry needs most, and the changing ways that business information is created, disseminated, consumed and monetized due to new media?

You wake up every day, and you play.

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