The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures

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Overview

The acclaimed bestseller about visual problem solving-now bigger and better

"There is no more powerful way to prove that we know something well than to draw a simple picture of it. And there is no more powerful way to see hidden solutions than to pick up a pen and draw out the pieces of our problem."

So writes Dan Roam in The Back of the Napkin, the international bestseller that proves that a simple drawing on a humble napkin can be more powerful than the slickest PowerPoint ...

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Overview

The acclaimed bestseller about visual problem solving-now bigger and better

"There is no more powerful way to prove that we know something well than to draw a simple picture of it. And there is no more powerful way to see hidden solutions than to pick up a pen and draw out the pieces of our problem."

So writes Dan Roam in The Back of the Napkin, the international bestseller that proves that a simple drawing on a humble napkin can be more powerful than the slickest PowerPoint presentation. Drawing on twenty years of experience and the latest discoveries in vision science, Roam teaches readers how to clarify any problem or sell any idea using a simple set of tools.

He reveals that everyone is born with a talent for visual thinking, even those who swear they can't draw. And he shows how thinking with pictures can help you discover and develop new ideas, solve problems in unexpected ways, and dramatically improve your ability to share your insights.

Take Herb Kelleher and Rollin King, who figured out how to beat the traditional hub-and-spoke airlines with a bar napkin and a pen. Three dots to represent Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Three arrows to show direct flights. Problem solved, and the picture made it easy to sell Southwest Airlines to investors and customers.

Now with more color, bigger pictures, and additional content, this new edition does an even better job of helping you literally see the world in a new way. Join the teachers, project managers, doctors, engineers, assembly-line workers, pilots, football coaches, marine drill instructors, financial analysts, students, parents, and lawyers who have discovered the power of solving problems with pictures.
 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The premise behind Roam's book is simple: anybody with a pen and a scrap of paper can use visual thinking to work through complex business ideas. Management consultant and lecturer Roam begins with a "watershed moment": asked, at the last minute, to give a talk to top government officials, he sketched a diagram on a napkin. The clarity and power of that image allowed him to communicate directly with his audience. From this starting point, Roam has developed a remarkably comprehensive system of ideas. Everything in the book is broken down into steps, providing the reader with "tools and rules" to facilitate picture making. There are the four steps of visual thinking, the six ways of seeing and the "SQVID"- a clumsy acronym for a "full brain visual work out" designed to focus ideas. Roam occasionally overcomplicates; an extended case study takes up a full third of the book and contains an overload of images that belie the book's central message of simplicity. Nonetheless, for forward-thinking management types, there is enough content in these pages to drive many a brainstorming session. Illus. (Mar 13)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591841999
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/13/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 7.22 (w) x 7.36 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

As the president of Digital Roam Inc., Dan Roam has helped leaders at Microsoft, Google, Wal-Mart, the Federal Reserve, Boeing, and the U.S. Senate solve complex problems through visual thinking. Dan and his whiteboard have appeared on CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, Fox News, and NPR. He lives in San Francisco.

Visit: www.thebackofthenapkin.com

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 15 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2013

    This book has such good content, but the graphics--which are int

    This book has such good content, but the graphics--which are integral to the book--are poorly translated to the ebook version. Every image displays in a very small format, and is so low-resolution that zooming in doesn't make anything clearer. This ebook needs to be re-published so that paying customers can get the whole book, with visible, usable graphics.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2010

    Buy paper copy!

    Great book, but the graphics are way too small! This is a book on visual thinking for heavens sake! Who did you put in charge of the making of the e-book--a word person!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Tobishouse

    I watched Dan Roam's Google Talk and was impressed enough to by the book. I have already put it to use in my presentations, steering away from Power Point and going to the white board. Very well organized and written. It was a quick read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    The Back of the Napkin ¿ An Entrepreneurial Idea

    When Dan Roam wrote The Back of the Napkin, he probably never thought he was writing a book for entrepreneurs. But that is exactly what he did. The book is about discovering ideas, developing ideas, and selling ideas. That is the essence of entrepreneurship. That is the way to develop entrepreneurial ideas and the foundation of the entrepreneurial mindset. <BR/><BR/><BR/>I was recently involved in a training program for entrepreneurs. It was a course that used this visual thinking process to design Internet marketing programs. I was super impressed with how clear they made the process for participants. When I learned they had developed the course using concepts from The Back of the Napkin, I immediately went looking for the book. <BR/><BR/>Over the years, I¿ve had numerous discussions with friends on how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and how to evaluate and implement entrepreneurial ideas. Much to my surprise, I find The Back of the Napkin to be a perfect place to begin that process.<BR/><BR/>A key goal of the book, as Dan Roam expresses it in the book, is to help people think of visual thinking as being like a Swiss Army knife that you can carry with you anywhere to tackle problems as they come to you. This concept will be revolutionary as it becomes more visible to entrepreneurs.<BR/> <BR/>A new focus is developing on encouraging entrepreneurship. Global Entrepreneurship Week is one example of a first time world-wide effort to encourage young people to embrace entrepreneurship as a tool to solve the challenges of the world. The Back of the Napkin equips people, young and old, to take up that challenge.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2008

    A reviewer

    This book is clear and concise. It gives immediate tools to anyone doing presentations. Get out your black marker and whiteboard.

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