Jonathan Franzen

United States
Born on 17 Aug 1959
Novelist/Essayist

The Path to Success

The reason they outperformed her was that they accepted each new “product” without trying to understand it. They got behind the new pitch wholeheartedly, even when it was risible and/or made no sense, and then, if a prospective customer had trouble understanding the "product", they didn’t vocally agree that it sure was difficult to understand, didn’t make a good-faith effort to explain the complicated reasoning behind it, but simply kept hammering on the written pitch. And clearly this was the path to success, and it was all a double disillusionment to Pip, who not only felt actively punished for using her brain but was presented every month with fresh evidence that Bay Area consumers on average responded better to a rote and semi-nonsensical pitch than to a well-meaning saleswoman trying to help them understand the offer.

Jonathan Franzen, in 'Purity'
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Purity

Jonathan Franzen

 

On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
Essays
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."
Essays