OK, so we’ve constructed a message that combines story and discourse and we’ve learned a little about emphasis and vocabulary, so we’re all set right?

Actually, there’s one more thing we need to cover to get all the way home. After you construct a message, it must be received. It doesn’t matter what you meant, it only matters what the receiver thinks you mean.

You are not just writing a story, you are combining it with the performative, discursive elements of communication to deliver meaning. But it’s not enough to send a message, you have to construct a message that will be received in a way that delivers the meaning you intended.

High-level idea: message sent != message received.

If the person can’t hear your message, can’t find your message, had problems loading your message, or somehow just missed it, your communication failed.

We are designing not just for story, or for discourse, or for message, but for that message to be received and understood.


Here’s the final catch: someone understanding your message isn’t the final step; what really matters and what we really optimize for, is how that message is repeated.

Optimize for repeatability.