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Business Rules of Thumb Wiki


Welcome to the Business Rules of Thumb wiki. This public wiki is designed to track useful rules of thumb in business.


The password for this wiki is: thumb


If this list becomes comprehensive enough, I may publish it in book form. Some of this content is used with permission from the 1987 book Business Rules of Thumb by Seth Godin and Chip Conley. Thanks! - Ben Casnocha (ben (at) casnocha (dot) com)



What is a thumb? A short (less than paragraph) instruction for dealing with a set of circumstances. A rule of thumb can be used when there's less time and less information than the user may desire.


How does this wiki work? View the topic of interest and then add your own rules of thumb (regardless of whether they're authored by you or not). Please do not delete any rules of thumb. Also, feel free to add "Counter-Rules" under certain rules if you disagree or click "Comments" to discuss a particular page.







Editor's Picks


 If you don't like what you're hearing, respond with a question, even if it's no more than "Why are you saying that?" - Mark McCormack


Successful negotiations are 70% preparation, 20% implementation, and 10% acting. - Robert Olson


Email is a communications medium, not a collaboration medium. When confused as a collaboration tool, efficiency plummets. - Ben Casnocha


In dealing with community groups, you must allow the groups to have a pound of flesh in the first meeting (let them shit all over you). Once they have voiced their anger they'll be more trusting. - Kirk Hanson


Stratify suppliers into those that: a) must be paid currently, b) accept late payment occassionally, c) take late payment as a matter of informal policy. - James Wicker


An entrepreneur is somebody who steals office supplies from home and brings them into work. - Auren Hoffman


Before going into a partnership with someone, spend time with them in three different kinds of situations: a relaxing one, a competitive one, and an intellectually stimulating one. - Joan Kelly


Sprinkle your sales letters or presentations with references to your subject's first name. - Mell Holloway


If you're only there to sell one thing, make a suggestion or assumption and let them tell you you're wrong. People have a need to feel smarter than you are. - Mark McCormack


"Career Networking" events are filled with people you don't want in your network. - Ben Casnocha


People don't steal ideas. Ideas are cheap. Implementation makes the difference. - Seth Godin


The two worst things to say to a creative person: 1. That's been done before. 2. That's never been done before. - Seth Godin


Rather than telling an associate, "You look good in that suit," tell the person, "That suit looks good on you." - Dale Carneigie


If you're interested in obtaining something from someone else, always preface your request with "I have a favor to ask you" as people hate turning down favors. - N. Bruce Ashwill


The best way to find good ideas is to let people tell you what the good ideas are. - Niel Robertson


Give everyone a title. Nothing pleases mankind as much and costs as little. Give everyone their own coffee cup. - Jerry Favretto


A bad reference is as hard to find as a good employee. - Robert Half


The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint: a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points. - Guy Kawasaki


Exercising during the lunch hour makes your afternoon twice as productive. - Grant McLaren


The success of a chief executive officer is directly proportional to the length of time he has worked with his executive secretary. - Chip Conley



Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 License.

(c) Ben Casnocha 2007

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