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In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing | [Matthew E. May]

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

In this thought-provoking exploration, Matthew May defines elegance as the elusive combination of unusual simplicity and surprising power, and pinpoints the four key elements that characterize it: seduction, subtraction, symmetry, and sustainability. In a story-driven narrative that sheds light on the need for elegance in design, engineering, physics, art, urban planning, sports, and work, May offers a surprising array of stories that illustrate why what's "not there" often matters more than what is.
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Publisher's Summary

This is a fresh, compulsively readable narrative of the elusive element behind so many innovative breakthroughs, in fields ranging from physics and marketing to design and popular culture.

In this thought-provoking exploration, Matthew May defines elegance as the elusive combination of unusual simplicity and surprising power and pinpoints the four key elements that characterize it: seduction, subtraction, symmetry, and sustainability.

In a story-driven narrative that sheds light on the need for elegance in design, engineering, physics, art, urban planning, sports, and work, May offers a surprising array of stories that illustrate why what's "not there" often matters more than what is.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2009 Matthew E. May; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"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)
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, Stanford professor and author of The No Asshole Rule)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Oliver Copenhagen 06-26-11
    Oliver Copenhagen 06-26-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I love elegance, but this book isn't elegant"

    I'm a big fan of elegance, simple solutions, and minimalism. But this book is like a bad Malcolm Gladwell book. Endless case stories, meant to make you go "aha, interesting" and feel entertained. I don't like that way of describing concepts. It's like fast food, doesn't give you any kind of quality content, just something to chew on. This book goes on and on and on and on, shifting direction and case story by the minute. I was unable to follow along, and had to rewind again and again. Constantly I had the feeling "what's he talking about" - yes, it really is that much of a bomb of babble.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Perth, ON, Canada 12-07-09
    Kevin Perth, ON, Canada 12-07-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic book - excellent!"

    I enjoy many of these types of books and I often find that they come on strong but fizzle out half way through. This one delivers all the way through. Fascinating topic, a must read for anybody that designs and builds anything.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blurr Las Vegas 06-20-11
    Blurr Las Vegas 06-20-11 Member Since 2009

    http://www.iamtheblurr.com

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Elegance Unexpected"

    I rarely find books that I find to be so impacting and useful that I feel compelled to buy the physical book to gain the benefit of listening and reading at the same time with highlighter in hand. "In Pursuit of Elegance", for me, has risen to the most important book of this year, and one of the most important books in my physical and digital collection. It's effect is far reaching, beyond what I could have expected.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber Portola Valley, CA, USA 08-21-09
    Amber Portola Valley, CA, USA 08-21-09
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    "Elegant!"

    The whole book was inspiring. So many institutions could learn so much from this one!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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