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In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing

Matthew E. May

What made the Sopranos finale one of the most-talked-about events in television history. Why is sudoku so addictive and the iPhone so darn irresistible.

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Book Information

Publisher: Crown Business
Publish Date: 09/06/2010
Pages: 224
ISBN-13: 9780385526500
ISBN-10: 0385526504
Language: English

What We're Saying

January 14, 2010

In Pursuit of Elegance author Matthew May reads around 200 books a year. That means he's read approximately 2000 books since the year 2000. Of those, he has picked five that he feels defined the last decade, writing "these 'big idea' books stand out because not only did they help us better understand the world, they gave us a new lens through which to view it. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

September 30, 2010

The Shibumi Strategy

By 800-CEO-READ

Matthew May is known for his thoughts on innovation and design strategy. His books The Elegant Solution and In Pursuit of Elegance focused on those topics, and were written in a more straightforward business style. Now, he's taken another turn: the business parable. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

December 15, 2009

The 800-CEO-READ Business Book of the Year Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—And Themselves by Andrew Ross Sorkin, Viking Books, 624 pages, $32. 95 Even though Too Big to Fail was written during the same year the financial collapse occurred, Andrew Ross Sorkin has written what we predict will be the definitive book on the subject. Sorkin not only tells a gripping “perfect storm” story—reporting the gory details as our 401k’s disappeared and our financial system became nationalized—but he humanizes the players as well, resulting in an imminently readable, albeit lengthy, book. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

What made the Sopranos finale one of the most-talked-about events in television history? Why is sudoku so addictive and the iPhone so darn irresistible? What do Jackson Pollock and Lance Armstrong have in common with theoretical physicists and Buddhist monks? Elegance. In this thought-provoking exploration of why certain events, products, and people capture our attention and imaginations, Matthew E. May examines the elusive element behind so many innovative breakthroughs in fields ranging from physics and marketing to design and popular culture. Combining unusual simplicity and surprising power, elegance is characterized by four key elements--seduction, subtraction, symmetry, and sustainability. In a compelling, story-driven narrative that sheds light on the need for elegance in design, engineering, art, urban planning, sports, and work, May offers surprising evidence that what's "not there" often trumps what is. In the bestselling tradition of The Tipping Point, Made to Stick, and The Black Swan, In Pursuit of Elegance will change the way you think about the world.

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