The Art of Seduction


by Matthew E May

Just a quick weekend note.

The idea behind the elegance element of seduction is very simple: limiting information creates intrigue and engagement. Why? Because not having the whole story leaves us without the symmetry we naturally seek. So our curiosity is piqued and our imaginations sparked, and off we go to chase closure.

My friend Iain Thomas of my favorite blog I WROTE THIS FOR YOU put it very elegantly in a recent note he wrote me, sharing with me of the story he heard designer Alexander Gelman tell. Says Iain:

“Alexander used the metaphor of a door. If a door is completely closed, no one wants to go inside the room because they assume that it’s closed for a reason. If a door is completely open, there’s no need to go inside the room because you can see what’s in it already. But if you leave the door slightly ajar, you create intrigue and interest and they want to go into the room. People actually enjoy doing a bit of work now and again.”

Exactly right!


Matthew E. May is the author of “IN PURSUIT OF ELEGANCE: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing.” He is constantly searching for creative ideas and innovative solutions that are ‘elegant’ – a unique and elusive combination of unusual simplicity and surprising power.

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