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The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and…

The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures (original 2009; edition 2008)

by Dan Roam

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Title:The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures
Authors:Dan Roam
Info:Portfolio Hardcover (2008), Hardcover, 288 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures by Dan Roam (2009)



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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
If you know anything at all about design, project management, presentations, or have ever ventured outside the box to solve a vexing problem, this book will be an extremely fast and not terribly informative read. I imagine some might be wowed...I have someone in mind to recommend it to...but the gimmick lost its appeal quickly. He should have used fewer napkins. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
"The Back of the Napkin" is long-time consultant Dan Roam's introduction and explanation of his methods of visual problem solving. In it, he lays out several simple frameworks for using basic whiteboard-style drawings to frame and analyze business problems.

"The Back of the Napkin" is a breezy read, which is good because it's a business book. It also helps that Roam walks readers through his method by using a rich example rather than separating theory from practice. ( )
  jasonli | Sep 24, 2013 |
Excellent way to think - in pictures. Makes you put things in context. ( )
  EctopicBrain | Jul 31, 2012 |
Really like this book. Relates to stuff I'm thinking about right now, so it came at the right moment. Story is nicely built up and has very good examples. It took me little time to read, but it will take some time to get this in my system. This is a technique I definitely want to master. Great. ( )
  StefanNijenhuis | Jan 31, 2012 |
This is simply one of the best business books I have ever read. Oh, I don’t mean in terms of the most in-depth analysis, or brilliant new thinking, or extensive coverage of a subject area. I mean in terms of the number of useful, accessible and productive ideas received in relation to the number of pages read.

This book is relatively short, only 256 pages (plus some appendices) and there is no padding or wasted space. With his relaxed and anecdotal style, Roam takes you along a journey he himself travelled when he realised that the processes we all use in the course of our jobs to sell our ideas to others using diagrams can be structured and codified to make use of the natural visual thinking pathways of the brain.

Roam presents a 6 step analytical structure that mimics the different ways our brains try to make sense of the world around us:
- Who/What
- How much/many
- Where
- When
- How
- why
and indicates what types of diagrams are best suited to each stage.

So far so good. Not rocket science, or even particularly new, but useful and simply expressed.

The real power comes when this framework is combined with the SQVID to help you come up with new ways of showing ideas visually. SQVID stands for:
- S: simple vs elaborate
- Q: quality vs quantity
- V: vision vs execution
- I: Individual vs comparison
- D (for delta Δ – that little Greek symbol used to indicate change): change vs as-is
and is useful as an exercise to get you thinking around loads of different ways to present the same ideas, and make your selection based on your audience and on the message you want to get across.

Combined in a matrix, the visual thinking framework and the SQVID allow you to see fairly quickly what type of diagram will be useful depending on the type of information you want to present and the message you want to put across. More detail can be found on Roam’s website at http://www.thebackofthenapkin.com/. ( )
  hashford | Aug 21, 2011 |
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Tries to enhance analytical skills by building up one's intrinsic abilities in a primer for business leaders on how to develop ideas and enable faster results using to-the-point visual methods.

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