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

By Matthew E. May
Foreword by Guy Kawasaki
Read by Malcolm Hillgartner

5.77 Hours 06/11/2009 unabridged
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What made The Sopranos finale one of the most talked about events in television history? Why is Sudoku so addictive and the iPhone so darned irresistible? What do Jackson Pollock and Lance Armstrong have in common with theoretical physicists and Buddhist monks? The answer is elegance. Matthew May explores why certain events, products, and people capture our imaginations and our loyalty. Defining elegance as the elusive combination of unusual simplicity and surprising power, he pinpoints the four key elements that characterize it—seduction, subtraction, symmetry, and sustainability—illustrating why what’s “not there” often matters more than what is. He also sheds light on the need for elegance in design, engineering, physics, art, urban planning, sports, and work. Download charts and figures.

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Summary

Summary

What made The Sopranos finale one of the most talked about events in television history? Why is Sudoku so addictive and the iPhone so darned irresistible? What do Jackson Pollock and Lance Armstrong have in common with theoretical physicists and Buddhist monks? The answer is elegance.

Matthew May explores why certain events, products, and people capture our imaginations and our loyalty. Defining elegance as the elusive combination of unusual simplicity and surprising power, he pinpoints the four key elements that characterize it—seduction, subtraction, symmetry, and sustainability—illustrating why what’s “not there” often matters more than what is. He also sheds light on the need for elegance in design, engineering, physics, art, urban planning, sports, and work.

Download charts and figures.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“As elegantly written as it is provocative. In Pursuit of Elegance makes a convincing—nay, worldview-shifting—argument that less is best.” Ori Brafman, New York Times bestselling author
“In Pursuit of Elegance is a fascinating intellectual romp that will change the way you look at your surroundings. As he takes readers from Jackson Pollock paintings to Dutch intersections to the secret menu at In-N-Out Burger, Matt May reveals the hidden elements beneath genuine innovation. This book is surprising, compelling, and, yes, extremely elegant.” Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author
“What a masterpiece! The definitive guide to the ‘less is more’ mind-set. I meant to only take a quick glance at In Pursuit of Elegance, but once I started reading it, I couldn’t stop. In a world where everything keeps getting more complicated and overwhelming, Matthew May shows us that if we start looking for things to take out, things to stop doing, and intelligent shortcuts, we will all be happier, do superior work, and live in a better world.” Robert I. Sutton, New York Times bestselling author
“Malcolm Hilgartner gives the ideal performance for May’s ‘less is more’ approach. His reading is understated and controlled, creatively engaging the imagination by what is not there.” AudioFile
“Enlightening. Makes a compelling case for doing more with less by optimizing the expenditure of one’s assets and resources. That’s something anyone can and should put into practice.” Kevin Hunter, president, CALTY Design Research, Inc., Toyota Design Network

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Matthew E. May

Matthew E. May, a graduate of the Wharton School of Business, is the author of the critically acclaimed Elegant Solution. A popular speaker, he lectures to corporations, governments, and universities around the world on ingenuity and innovation. He spent nearly a decade advising Toyota, and his articles and profiles have appeared in USA Today, Strategy & Business, the Wall Street Journal, and on CNN and National Public Radio. He lives in Lake Sherwood, California.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 5.77
Audience: Adult
Language: English