Author Archives: Matthew E May

Why Alltop.com is Now Even More Elegant

FYI – Both Blogging Innovation and In Pursuit of Elegance can be found on Alltop’s Innovation category by Matthew E May If you’ve clued in to how best to use Twitter — which IMHO is as a broadcast channel more than anything else — you know that you have to troll the web for value-added “newscasts” for your growing audience. ...

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The Art of Whitespace

Being a sometime pencil sketcher, I’ve been a fan of the Wall Street Journal pen and ink stipple portraits, also known as a hedcut (that’s not a typo) since I started reading the journal in 1982. I love the fact that the portraits are most whitespace with artfully placed dots and dashes — pure black and white — and the ...

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Design Thinking For Your Writing

William Bostick over at Core77 wrote a terrific post called “How (Not) To Write Like a Designer.” Design thinking is how I prefer to think about my style of problem solving. I’m not alone…IDEO and Stanford’s D School coined the term, and Tim Brown’s blog is all about it. But what I liked about this particular post was that it ...

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The Elegance of My Father

by Matthew E May My father’s 78th birthday would have been this year, had he lived to see the day. It’s been ten years since his passing from complications arising from a rather rare blood disorder called polycythemia…too much blood. In honor of the decade without him, I thought I’d post part of my book that did not make the ...

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The Art of Seduction

by Matthew E May Just a quick weekend note. The idea behind the elegance element of seduction is very simple: limiting information creates intrigue and engagement. Why? Because not having the whole story leaves us without the symmetry we naturally seek. So our curiosity is piqued and our imaginations sparked, and off we go to chase closure. My friend Iain ...

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Toyota and Innovation by Design

Scion Exile Concept Sketch by Matthew E May I’m fortunate enough to count car designer Kevin Hunter, president of Toyota’s CALTY Design Research, among my board of muses. CALTY (California+Toyota) is one of Toyota’s most influential design centers, located in Newport Beach, CA. CALTY is involved in nearly all of Toyota’s major vehicle design programs. According to Kevin, Toyota wants ...

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The Quiet Mind and Innovation

Executives at GE, 3M, Google, Bloomberg Media, and Salesforce.com do it. Ford chairman William Ford does it, as do former corporate chiefs Bill George of Medtronic and Bob Shapiro of Monsanto. Phil Jackson, Tiger Woods, and Italy’s 2006 World Cup champion soccer team all do it. The “it” is designating daily time to calm and quiet the mind using techniques ...

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Part 1 – The Power of the Question (Shanghai)

Lots of bad stuff happening in China right now. So let’s talk about some good stuff. Like the design coming out of Shanghai. Innovation, no matter where it occurs, always begins with a burning question (or questions), centered around “Is there a better way?” Artist-turned-designer Lu Kun has almost single-handedly put Shanghai on the international fashion map by pursuing three ...

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Do Rewards Kill Innovation and Creativity?

I am constantly asked how to best structure a financial reward system in an effort to motivate people to contribute ideas and improvements. My answer: Just say no. Combined research from the Employee Involvement Association and Japan Human Relations Association reveals that the average number of ideas submitted per employee annually is 100 times greater in Japanese companies than in ...

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