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Why Every Entrepreneur Should Write: Lessons of Paul Graham, Jeff Bezos, Jason Fried, and more

Inspiring entrepreneurs Jason Fried, Paul Graham, Jeff Bezos, and Fred Wilson, all have discovered one thing that makes a difference; Writing.

They believe clear writing is a critical entrepreneurial skill. One that would help you generate new ideas, clarify your thinking, hire the right people, inspire the direction of your company, or even find your stride.

But writing can be hard. It takes time. So why not spend that precious time on building actual software, pulling hours from consulting, or running your company?

If writing in fact is today’s currency for good ideas, it should help you become better at all the above–a better programmer, a better marketer, a better leader–or more importantly, a more interesting human being.

Here are five insights on why writing matters for entrepreneurs, and beyond.

From Rework by Jason Fried:

Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking. Great writers know how to communicate. They make things easy to understand. They can put themselves in someone else's shoes. They know what to omit. And those are qualities you want in any candidate. Writing is making a comeback all over our society...Writing is today's currency for good ideas.


From Writing, Briefly by Paul Graham:

I think it's far more important to write well than most people realize. Writing doesn't just communicate ideas; it generates them. If you're bad at writing and don't like to do it, you'll miss out on most of the ideas writing would have generated.


Jeff Bezos in a 2012 interview with Charlie Rose:

When you have to write your ideas out in complete sentences and complete paragraphs, it forces a deeper clarity of thinking.


From Writing It Down by Fred Wilson:

I toiled in the VC business for close to twenty years before I hit my stride and the reason I found my stride was my adoption of blogging. As all of you know, I write every day. It is my discpline, my practice, my thing. It forces me to think, articulate, and question. And I get feedback from it. When I hit publish, I get a rush. Every time. Just like the first time. It is incredibly powerful

And another one from Jason Fried in Why Is Business Writing So Awful?

If you care about your product, you should care just as much about how you describe it.  In nearly all cases, a company makes its first impression on would-be customers or partners with words -- whether they're on a website, in sales materials, or in e-mails or letters. A snappy design might catch their attention, but it's the words that make the real connection. Your company's story, product descriptions, history, personality -- these are the things that go to battle for you every day. Your words are your frontline. Are they strong enough?.

Bottom line: Writing should be part of any entrepreneurial training. Whether it involves writing dissertations, essays, or class notes, it is one reason why entrepreneurship education and academia in general is useful. But you don't need to enroll to get started. All you need from here on is pen and paper. Or a blog.

For more on writing for entrepreneurs, you should check out one of my most popular posts 7 Proven Templates For Writing Value Propositions That Work.