Brian … “Besides” Himself


This cartoon was a thorn in my side for a full day.

I ran across the idea about correlation and causation and knew there was something there, but it was tricky. At one point, the caption was a full paragraph and there was some sort of Venn diagram involved.

I’m not kidding. It was a mess.

After about seven hours of staring angrily at the words “correlation” and “causation,” I figured out that I’d gotten way too close to this idea. I took a mental step back and just started typing …

“It’s important to remember that correlation does not imply causation,” I wrote. But the next part, “Besides …” was the key. All of a sudden there was something else in the mix!

Almost immediately, the name Brian fluttered into my brain and the cartoon was finished.

Sometimes cartoons come quickly, sometimes they take all day. But the all-day ones feel more like victories.

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Mark Anderson Mark Anderson's cartoons appear in publications including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. His business cartoons are available for licensing at his website,

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