What Nora Ephron gave to business
Herself, when she felt “bad about my neck.”
Her movie characters, when Harry met Sally and fell in love.
Nora made business funny as she made all of us, her many friends and millions of fans, more human.
I remember bumping into Nora in November of 2007, at a breakfast with her good friend Arianna Huffingtron. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had just announced a new product called the Kindle, which Nora had read about and decided was “an homage to books without in any way promising their extinction.” She had immediately ordered three Kindles for herself and her two sons.
Weeks later, Nora told me that the Kindles never arrived. She was annoyed and cranky–emotions that Nora wore better than the rest of us–so I invited her to write about her woes in Fortune. She delivered “Me and My Kindle” about the e-reader she never got. After we published her essay, we bought Nora a Kindle.
Nora was the sharpest and smartest writer-director out there. She could take a stick a butter and make an amusing story out of it–and maybe a delicious souffle too. Here’s what Nora wrote in 2009 when I asked her to tell us “The Best Advice I Ever Got.”:
Never put tomatoes in the refrigerator.
Location, location, location.
Life is too short.
Never run for a bus.
Don’t learn how to iron or someone will make you do it.
Don’t eat anything that’s not worth eating.
You know as much about investing your money as they do.
Yelling at your children is no more effective than speaking softly.
Marry a man who was unhappily married to his first wife for 17 years.
Get a dog.
We’ll miss you, Nora. RIP.