Have you ever heard of the Rule of Three? It’s a guideline used widely in writing and communicating that dictates your message is clearer and more effective when you can convey it in three points.
1 – Here some examples:
Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Friends, Romans, Countrymen. I came, I saw, I conquered. Government of the people, by the people, for the people
Three little pigs. Three Musketeers. Three wise men. Three Stooges
Outwit, outplay, outlast. Location, location, location
2 – Apple’s Culture:
Steve Jobs was a huge fan of the rule of three and it is deeply entrenched in Apple’s Culture. Steve Jobs used the rule of three in almost every product launch and Apple still uses it.
Steve jobs announced the first iPhone as the “third” of Apple’s revolutionary product categories (the first two were the Macintosh and the iPod). He even said that Apple would be introducing “three” revolutionary products—a new iPod, a phone, and an Internet communications device. Jobs repeated the three products slowly until the audience finally figured out he was talking about one device capable of handling all three tasks.
In 2010 Jobs introduced the first iPad with a slide showing the new tablet as a “third device” between a smartphone and a laptop. In 2011, Jobs introduced the iPad 2 as “thinner, lighter, and faster” than the original. The three adjectives so accurately described the new device, thousands of blog and newspaper headlines included those three words.
Almost since day one the iPhone has come in three different capacities, mostly recently the iPhone XS, and iPhone XR come in Gold, Silver and Black and 64GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities. The iPad follows a similar offering as well as the Apple Watch. The iWork suits comes with Pages, Number and Keynote. Apple have three laptop offerings: Macbook, Macbook Air, Macbook Pro. Three desktops: iMac, Mac Pro and Mac Mini.
If you have ever watch an Apple keynote presentation you will notice that the generally make three big announcements.
3 – My third point:
You can adopt the rule of three in nearly every business presentation or conversation to simplify the choices for your listeners or to help them follow the content. For example, show your customer three features of a new product or service. Offer your boss three examples for why you deserve a raise. Give an investor three compelling reasons to back your idea. Give your team three instructions.
The rule of three works because it’s simple, catchy, and easy to remember.
- Let us know how we can help you apply the rule of three.
- Tell us how you have used the rule of three.
- Who else do you think uses the rule of three?