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

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Descripción del producto

Descripción del producto

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.

Detalles del producto

  • Formato: Versión Kindle
  • Tamaño del archivo: 5388 KB
  • Longitud de impresión: 304
  • Editor: Portfolio; Edición: Expanded (31 de diciembre de 2009)
  • Vendido por: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Idioma: Inglés
  • ASIN: B005N1OUSE
  • Texto a voz: Activado
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  • Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
  • Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: n°71.939 Pagados en Tienda Kindle (Ver el Top 100 de pago en Tienda Kindle)
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179 de 181 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
Por John Bartelt - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa dura Compra verificada
Like many books, "Back of the Napkin" seems to have begun with a brilliant very short concept that someone (correctly) thought would sell like hotcakes if padded out into a full-length book. The author really does present significant insights, but the irony is that they would have been best summarized literally on the back of a napkin, rather than dragging them out into full book form. So it reads like a 300-slide PowerPoint presentation advocating brevity.

The sequel, "Unfolding the Napkin" (which I also read) is better thought out, serves more as a method, and contains more visual examples - but it still rehashes pretty much the same material as the first book in order to make its point, so reading both books was redundant in my opinion.
138 de 146 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
HASH(0xa007f930) de un máximo de 5 estrellas The simple cover and concept shields a deeply powerful tool 1 de abril de 2008
Por Tom Carpenter - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa dura
I saw the book on the shelf at Borders and the cover caught my attention. I read the first few pages and knew I had to read the rest.

I am a technical trainer and writer and have been teaching classes for more than 10 years now. For the last 7 years I've been using a pen tablet in my classes to draw diagrams on-the-fly while lecturing about different technology concepts. The attendees have given phenomenally positive feedback about this learning method.

Now, I find this book that not only validates the process I've been using but helps me take it to the next level. The author reveals the four steps to visual thinking and the six problem categories that we all face. He shows you how to do it with case studies and examples that are practical.

One thing that I think many will find helpful is the way the author quickly removes any fear of drawing you may have. He gives the testimony of many attendees that he has helped overcome this fear of drawing in front of others. Personally, my family plays Pictionary very regularly because I want my children to be comfortable with this process.

My favorite part was the Appendix: The Science of Visual Thinking. I found it very interesting as it presents scientific research as it relates to this simple process.

If you want a great new way to solve problems and a great way to communicate ideas, I think you'll find this book very useful.

85 de 92 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
HASH(0x9ff7c390) de un máximo de 5 estrellas 1st edition still a good deal, but this one is worth considering 8 de enero de 2010
Por Adelle Frank - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa dura Compra verificada
If money or portability are your primary considerations, then get a used copy of the first edition, as it communicates the central ideas in an almost identical fashion and is easier to carry around. However, if a few more dollars and a slightly-bigger book don't bother you, consider buying this new edition, as it's subtly-revised diagrams and improved explanation of key brain science concepts make it easier to understand on the first read. For more detail on the differences between this and the previous edition, read on...

Both books are hardcovers and much of the content (including, sadly, the Resources listed in the Appendix) is the same. However, there are a number of important differences between these editions:


At 8.2 x 8 x 1.3 inches, it is bigger than the first edition, which clocked in at 7.1 x 7.1 x 1 inches. While this does allow for the pictures to be bigger and slightly easier to see, it also means a larger, oddly-shaped book to carry around. This only matters if, like me, you like to schlepp your favorite books around and carry them on the bus.


Includes more pages at 304 pages, rather than the previous edition's 278, making it a mere 0.2 pounds heavier. 10 of those additional 26 pages are the new "Appendix A: The Ten (and a Half) Commandments of Visual Thinking." This is a very useful set of 11 rules of thumb to keep in mind when applying Roam's visual thinking technique. Most, if not all, of these rules are mentioned elsewhere in the book, so don't let this appendix be your only reason for purchasing the newest edition. In addition, these 11 rules are summarized nicely in a slideshow elsewhere on the internet ([...]/visual_think_map/the-10-12-commandments-of-visual-thinking-the-lost-chapter-from-the-back-of-the-napkin). Nonetheless, it is helpful to have them laid out, visually, in one place. Another 8 pages are the new Foreword, which explains Roam's experience of visually attempting to sell the idea for this book to the publishers at Penguin. While interesting and a good example, it is also not a reason to buy this edition.


Instead of just black text/pictures, red is now used to highlight chapter headings and subheadings, as well as help readers distinguish between parts of Roam's originally-all-black illustrations and diagrams. This is astonishingly helpful - as it is much easier to understand his diagrams at first glance. Given the table on page 66 (identical to that on page 72 in the first edition), it is no surprise that a small change in color makes it easier for our eyes to distinguish among the parts of his diagrams. In addition, he has added some additional sketches in the book to better visually explain some of his concepts. I was particularly impressed by his improvements to chapters 4 and 5 on how to look better and see sharper. Both his pictures and his text in this section have been revised to provide more clarity for potentially-confusing sections that are partially dependent on communicating a few key brain science concepts. His diagrams illustrating the 6 ways of seeing/showing are also a bit clearer than in the first edition.

For an outline of the major concepts in the book, see my blog post ([...]/blog/review-back-of-the-napkin-solving-problems-and-selling-ideas-with-pictures-expanded-edition-2009) for more details.
20 de 21 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
HASH(0x9ff7c39c) de un máximo de 5 estrellas Reflective pictures or expressive pictures? 20 de abril de 2010
Por J. Michael Innes - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa dura
It must be great to be in the audience when Dan Roam gives a presentation and when you in the audience share the same kind of visual sense. On the other hand, if you do not share that sense, that way of structuring the topic under consideration, then you might well want to be beamed somewhere else.

This is a great book, extremely useful and thought provoking. The structuring of problem-solving into a six by five visual codex makes enormous sense; you can literally see the evolution of the thought processes and the development of the insights take shape through the pages. It is not the kind of book that you can dip into. There is a structure and that structure has to unfold and be assimilated by the reader before there can be any translation into action and effect. I think that there is no "quick fix" for someone who wants to animate or rejuvenate their presentations with a rapid read. The art of solving problems has to be developed through the acquisition of the skills protrayed in these pages. And that takes time and effort. And it also needs a sense of congruity between the visual sense of the author and that of the reader. Pictures can convey so much that words cannot evoke. But some pictures and representations succeed and others fail, otherwise there would be no evolution of art and expression.

Be wary of this book on face value. The editorial recommendations of the book do not necessarily reflect the content. Simply to say, as does one commentator, "So if you want to make a point, do it with images, pictures or graphics.", is true only to a point. It is not necessarily the case for all readers, all viewers and certainly not for all people who need to make a presentation. The person who gives the presentation with pictures that reflect their own representation of the topic without engaging the representation or ability of the audience will fail. The presentation must be expressive, not merely reflective.

But that aside, if after searching through this book you get a sense of affiliation with the ideas and concepts, then I have no doubt that you will gain enormously in quality of communication with your audiences. This book is a challenge that can lead to greater insight. But the dictum "caveat emptor" applies, as always. But also remember, books such as this always present the ideas as though they were tried and true. There is rarely evidence as to the efficacy of the methods in getting the message across, as against the satisfaction that an audience may gain. Roam does list references in an appendix to other works that are based on empirical evidence (for example Wainer's Graphic discovery and Tufte The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, 2nd edition, but there is nothing about his own evidence. A reading of this excellent book benefits from a parallel reading, and reality check, of Tufte's little monograph on the dangers of Powerpoint (The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint: Pitching Out Corrupts Within, Second Edition.
29 de 33 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
HASH(0xa0393e88) de un máximo de 5 estrellas Refreshing 18 de junio de 2008
Por Robert David STEELE Vivas - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa dura Compra verificada
I found this book refreshing, even relaxing, and recommend it as a gift item for any student or adult. Had I been the publisher I would have made the book larger and the visuals (by definition, handwriting and sketches) consequently larger and fresher, but what is offered suffices.

I have been immersed for the past several weeks in some of the most advanced technical automated multi-media, multi-dimensional, geospatially-grounded visualizations with time lines and cross-cutting cultural dimesions, and after all of that, this book not only stands the test of holding my attention, but proves itself equal to the task of challenging what is supposed to be "state of the art."

A few other books that come to mind that complement this one:
Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace
The Attention Economy: Understanding the New Currency of Business
Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing
The Design of Dissent: Socially and Politically Driven Graphics
Information Design
Visual Interfaces to Digital Libraries (Lecture Notes in Computer Science)