PowerPoint turns twenty this week and this column in the WSJ [subscription] is spot on in so many ways.
When used incorrectly, PowerPoint can be the worst thing to happen to a business. I’ve seen complex analysis that fits neatly on a single sheet of Excel expanded to fill 12 PowerPoint slides but somehow still lose all of the critical detail.
One of the creators of PowerPoint states, accurately:
“a lot of people in business have given up writing the documents. They just write the presentations, which are summaries without the detail, without the backup. A lot of people don’t like the intellectual rigor of actually doing the work.”
The column also contains a joke that is far to close to home:
[T]he best way to paralyze an opposition army is to ship it PowerPoint and, thus, contaminate its decision making.