The Laws of Subtraction and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $24.00
  • Save: $6.99 (29%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: SHIPS DIRECTLY FROM AMAZON. New- great shape Has a publisher's remainder mark.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Laws of Subtraction: 6 Simple Rules for Winning in the Age of Excess Everything Hardcover – October 23, 2012


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$17.01
$4.98 $2.91


Frequently Bought Together

The Laws of Subtraction: 6 Simple Rules for Winning in the Age of Excess Everything + The Shibumi Strategy: A Powerful Way to Create Meaningful Change + In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing
Price for all three: $43.31

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Kindle Business Book Daily Deal
Today only, James McQuivey's "Digital Disruption" is on sale for only $1.99. Shop now

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071795618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071795616
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

MATTHEW E. MAY is the author of three 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.


More 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.

Related Media


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
15
4 star
8
3 star
5
2 star
1
1 star
0
See all 29 customer reviews
Overall a very professional well written book.
Kim N
I highly recommend reading this book - whenever you are stuck.
Jon Spence
I just like the way the guy thinks and writes.
Phil Simon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Reader on April 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was kind of disappointed with this book because I feel it did not deliver on the premise of its title. The book is a collection of anecdotal stories, by the author and by many others, that sometimes describe how simplifying a product or process yielded a better result. Yet many of the stories do not really address the notion of "subtraction" at all, and meander over a lot of interesting but irrelevant territory. The stories are collected under half a dozen headings that the author calls "laws," but really are not even hypotheses or guidelines. They are, rather, attempts to sort the anecdotes into categories that are, on the whole, rather unilluminating. I had the impression that the author collected all these stories and then tried to fit them into his premise for the book. I think the author had a good idea - it is all in the book's title - but, for me, at least, really failed to deliver. This subject needs more focus, more thought, more depth -- more subtraction.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Colleen Wainwright on May 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book suffers from the affliction it's earnestly trying to help us avoid: excess. It contains some great stories, some useful techniques, a scant handful of useful personal essays from other contributors, but they're buried in flabby prose. I'm guessing it would be perfect at around 80pp: perfect Kindle-single length. Skim for ideas and resources, then go to the primary source material that interests you.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jim Estill on November 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I am just off US Thanksgiving, Black Friday and now Cyber Monday. Much of it is about consumerism. So my answer - reading a book by Matthew E. May called The Laws of Subtraction - 6 Simple Ways for Winning in the Age of Excess Everything.

I like to think I like simple but I do not live simple in many ways. The recent hurricane showed me my dependence on little things like power, internet and hot water.

The Laws of Subtraction is mostly about design - art and music. I apply much of it to life though.

May starts with a simplified version of John Maeda's (The Laws of Simplicity) tenth law:

What isn't there can often trump what is.
The simplest rules create the most effective experience
Limiting information engages the imagination
Creativity thrives under intelligent constraints
Break is the most important part of breakthrough
Doing something isn't always better than doing nothing.

These become the 6 laws and 6 chapters of the book.

At the end of each chapter is a series of one page articles written by "guest authors" giving their view of the topic. I found these to be some of the best part of the book. Each author has their own gems of wisdom. By distilling them to one page, we get the best from each author.

Less is more in design. It can be more in life too.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover
While writing his latest book, Matthew May invited more than 70 people to be guest contributors, sharing their thoughts, feelings, and experiences about subtraction. More than 50 accepted and I was among them, pleased to be included. That said, only when I read the book in final form did I understand and appreciate what his specific objectives were. As with the objectives for The Elegant Solution and In Pursuit of Elegance, he achieves them fully and eloquently. May observes, "neuroscientists have shown, using magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), that addition and subtraction require different brain circuitry" from what many (most?) people prefer, "hardwired to add and accumulate, hoard and store."

This book offers to guide new and innovative thinking on how people can make better decisions (to add as well as to subtract) and produce better results by artfully and intelligently using less (or more). "The Laws of Subtraction is meant to be a guide to creating more engaging [begin italics] experiences [end italics] not only for others but for ourselves." There seems to be remarkable agreement over many centuries about the potential benefits of subtraction, simplification, reduction, etc. The title of my review is from the Tao Te Ching, dating back to 6th century BCE. It is also noteworthy that the insightful quotations about the subtractive mindset, strategically inserted throughout the book, are selected from a wide and diverse range of sources.

May offers six "simple" rules or laws that are, he explains, based on one of the laws in John Maeda's brilliant book, The Laws of Simplicity. Here is #10: "Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful." (Maeda is another of the contributors.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David Wilhoite on January 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Did a nice job of describing the 6 laws of subtraction and how they support the author's thesis. Provides good examples with good descriptions. Very thoughtful. Was looking for something more personally oriented rather than marketing oriented.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Phil Simon on November 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I am a big fan of May's previous works. I'd put In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing on my top-100 list. After dabbling in business fiction in his last book, May is back with a more conventional business text--and he doesn't disappoint.

In an era of feature-creep and superfluous functionality, May shows how it's often best to do nothing or remove things. May's examples are fascinating, from the WSJ artist who creates those funky drawings to the design of streets and urban areas to Albert Einsten. Backed by solid research in neuroscience and psychology, May's central premise hits home with me: less is more.

Over the last few years, I've become an Apple convert because PCs and many applications tend to include too many "features." Something tells me that May would wholeheartedly agree.

Some of the 50 essays from thought leaders were more interesting than others. Truth be told, I would have preferred 50 additional pages of insights from the author himself. I just like the way the guy thinks and writes.

I highly recommend the book and look forward to more from May.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?