Why You Should Visualize Everything

Here’s the simplest example for the power of visualization:

How many lines?

Now- how many lines?

I came across this example while listening to the awesome Tim Ferriss show but this is so very true in any aspect of business.

By changing the question to a more tangible, common way of thinking we are able to quickly answer it.

People have limited time and too much information. So in order to help them grasp and “get it” you need to visualize EVERYTHING- from product features, through priorities, corporate strategy, competitive analysis, revenue, what have you.

Visualization helps people understand faster and remember long term.

This is scientific: Studies show that visual information is processed 60,000 times faster in our brain than text, and that visuals remain longer in memory (more explanation and statistics here).

Most people would agree. However, the driver behind visualizing is different for different people, and oftentimes the critical point is overlooked: You want to visualize everything not because you want to be able to put more information on a slide but because you want to tell a story and help people “get it”.

Take Uber as an example. By now we all probably know what they do. but what if 5 years ago you are managing Uber and you want to articulate what it is all about? If you look at their website and various interviews, it might look like this:

  • We offer an app that allows you to order transportation anywhere anytime
  • Connect between supply of transportation to demand
  • Offer reliable transportation
  • Transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere for everyone

How we do that? What is the most important aspect?

For the most part, the strategy is centered around the supply- if you don’t have supply the demand will probably abandon because I don’t want to wait 20 minutes for a car.

This is great, and concise, but look at a visual way to communicate the statements above:

Much more clear right?

So, next time that you want to communicate anything, big or small, just visualize it.