This Sentence Has 5ive Words: Eigen Values, Creating Truisms and the Future of Marketing

Stephen Denny

April 06, 2011

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"Our first sentence—"This sentence has five words—is an eigen value: a self-referencing, self-defining concept. The thing itself is its own definition. Our last rambling sentence is not an eigen value. It isn't self-defining and frankly lacks meaning to anyone but its author. This is an important distinction, because the casual reader of this sentence frankly doesn't care one way or another about the message or the messenger. The concept of eigen values comes from the vast body of work attributed to the father of cybernetics, Heinz von Foerster. His work, and the work of others in this field, has influenced the disciplines of philosophy, psychology, architecture, mathematics, cryptography and art. Why is this concept important to your idea, your brand or your movement? Because creating eigen values is what marketers do when they're doing their very best work. The concept of eigen values should change how you look at the marketing discipline completely."

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