The genius of the original, 140-character Twitter was that it forced the writer to budget her thoughts. No wasted words, no rambling. Just the message, distilled. Early telegrams were like this, too. Reportedly, the Wright brothers announced their accomplishment in 1903 by sending this telegram: “Successful four flights Thursday morning.”
When every word, every character, is necessary, it means we have to get very clear about what we want to say, and how. It helps us clarify our own thinking.
The next time you’re planning a talk or an important conversation, think about what you’d say if you only had 140 characters. That’s your message.