In Pursuit of Elegance
Matthew E. May
Crown Business, May 2009

What made the Sopranos finale one of the most-talked-about events in television history?

Why is sudoku so addictive and the iPhone so darn irresistible?

What do Jackson Pollock and Lance Armstrong have in common with theoretical physicists and Buddhist monks?

Elegance.

In this thought-provoking exploration of why certain events, products and people capture our attention and imaginations, Matthew E. May examines the elusive element behind so many innovative breakthroughs in fields ranging from physics and marketing to design and popular culture. Combining unusual simplicity and surprising power, elegance is characterized by four key elements—seduction, subtraction, symmetry and sustainability. In a compelling, story-driven narrative that sheds light on the need for elegance in design, engineering, art, urban planning, sports and work, May offers surprising evidence that what’s “not there” often trumps what is.

In the bestselling tradition of The Tipping Point, Made to Stick, and The Black Swan, In Pursuit of Elegance will change the way you think about the world.

About the Author

Matthew E. May is is the author of The Laws of Subtraction: 6 Simple Rules for Winning in the Age of Excess Everything, as well as three previous, award-winning books: The Elegant Solution, In Pursuit of Elegance, and The Shibumi Strategy. A popular speaker, creativity coach and close advisor on innovation to companies such as ADP, Edmunds, Intuit and Toyota, he is a regular contributor to the American Express OPEN Forum Idea Hub and the founder of Edit Innovation, an ideas agency based in Los Angeles. His articles have appeared in national publications such as The Rotman Magazine, Fast Company, Design Mind, MIT/Sloan Management Review, USA Today, Strategy+Business and Quality Progress. He has appeared in The Wall Street Journal and on National Public Radio. A graduate of the Wharton School of Business and Johns Hopkins University, he lives in Southern California.