The Back of the Napkin (Expanded Edition): Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures

The Back of the Napkin (Expanded Edition): Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures

by Dan Roam


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The Back of the Napkin (Expanded Edition): Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures by Dan Roam

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591843061
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/31/2009
Edition description: Expanded
Pages: 282
Sales rank: 1,204,278
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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.


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

BusinessWeek's best innovation book of the year

A Fast Company best business book of the year

The (London) Times business creativity book of the year

"A must read for younger generation managers."

"Roam shows that even the most analytical right-brainers can work better by thinking visually."

"[Roam] shows you how to create simple drawings...that are simple but effective tools in breaking down complex notions and letting you share an idea across cultures and levels of expertise with aplomb."
-Fast Company

"As painful as it is for any writer to admit, a picture is worth a thousand words. That's why I learned so much from this book. With style and wit, Dan Roam has provided a smart, practical primer on the power of visual thinking."
-Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind

"Inspiring! It teaches you a new way of thinking in a few hours-what more could you ask from a book?"
-Dan Heath, author of Made to Stick

"This book is a must read for managers and business leaders. Visual thinking frees your mind to solve problems in unique and effective ways."
-Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures

"If you observe the way people read or listen to things in the early 21st century, you realize that there aren't many of us left with a linear attention span. Visual information is much more interesting than verbal information. So if you want to make a point, do it with images, pictures or graphics...Dan Roam is the first visual consultant for the customer. And the message sticks."
-Roger Black, Media design leader, author of Websites That Work

"Simplicity. This is Dan Roam's message in The Back of the Napkin. We all dread business meetings with their mountains of documents and the endless bulleted power points. Roam cuts through all that to demonstrate how the use of simple drawings-executed while the audience watches-communicate infinitely better than those complex presentations. Is a picture truly worth a thousand words? Having told us how to communicate with pictures, Roam rounds out his message by explaining that 'We don't show insight-inspiring pictures because it saves a thousand words; we show it because it elicits the thousand words that make the greatest difference.' And that is communication that works."
-Bill Yenne, author of Guinness: The 250 Year Quest for the Perfect Pint

Customer Reviews

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Back of the Napkin 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
VisualMan More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
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Shallie_Bey More than 1 year ago
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is clear and concise. It gives immediate tools to anyone doing presentations. Get out your black marker and whiteboard.