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Sure, it kind of looks like what a Porsche SUV would look like if you imagined such a creation: There's little conceptual purity in the Cayenne's design either its actual appearance, or its design in the larger sense , and it's hard to reconcile the notion that a company that makes small, light, powerful sports cars also sells an off road-capable SUV that is everything those other cars are not. Greene does note the fairly-recent acquisition of Porsche by Volkswagen, which happened only after Porsche's attempt to buy Volkswagen was foiled by the financial crisis. Does it really make sense, however, to call a company that bungled an ill-advised takeover attempt one of the "smartest companies?

Without the benefit of knowing more than Jay Greene's description of the way the other companies in the book are run, it's hard to tell whether he's giving an accurate assessment of them, or whether he's been fed the firms' PR lines about how successful they are. Still, the book was an enjoyable read, and gave me additional insight into the meaning of design. Not a bad book for someone interested in the business world, and it's a pretty fast read. Jun 08, Shauna rated it really liked it Shelves: This book is meant for non-designers who want to understand the competitive advantage design can offer beyond aesthetics.

Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons

This was a really interesting book to read for several reasons: I have had a low l This book is meant for non-designers who want to understand the competitive advantage design can offer beyond aesthetics. I have had a low level of brand awareness of some of these companies e. Nike not only reached the skate community by listening, but they also created communities through service design, e. Friction points or as an insider to a niche community are a good starting points for innovation because of the deep understanding already in place.

Greene also outlines challenges and threats to companies that have failed or may fail to remain true to their vision. LEGO just reconnected to customers.

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Will Ace Hotels be able to successfully scale their operation while remaining true to their original vision? This supports my belief that design is a holistic endeavor and that innovation and learning must be a continuous process. Strategies and factors I identified from the case studies: Aug 29, Rohan rated it it was ok Shelves: This book was a quick read. Having picked this up in a sale for almost nothing, I had no expectations from it. All I wanted to know was how various companies think good design contributes to their success.

For most part this book does it. It was an enjoyable read but Author's Research and presentation wasn't up to the mark. There were very few times when I actually felt that Author presented to me something new on the topic of design. Author had a slightly different take on how each company defi This book was a quick read.

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Author had a slightly different take on how each company defines Design. Instead of concentrating more on Design process of individual products, Jay Greene concentrates on the history of each company and some of their marketing campaigns. Although I do understand that Marketing is a very important part of the process, but that is not the reason why I had chosen to read this book. Although I found individual stories about each company interesting, I was disappointed with the lack of depth and focus of Author on the main topic of the book.

In the end, I liked the conclusion of the book and I would've liked this book better if Author had written other chapters of the book of the same quality. I would say this was an average book. Sep 22, Andy rated it liked it. A quick little two-hour read, this book tells the stories of a handful of successful and unique companies.

I'd hate to spoil the twist ending for you, but it turns out that these businesses share a couple key ideas: The stories are interesting and concise, but the incredibly breezy prose made it hard for me to take the autho A quick little two-hour read, this book tells the stories of a handful of successful and unique companies. The stories are interesting and concise, but the incredibly breezy prose made it hard for me to take the author seriously.

More troubling, once a few companies were introduced, Mr. Greene takes several breaks in each chapter to say "oh, now that sounds familiar, doesn't it?


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I'm not sure who the intended audience is, but I don't need the not-at-all-subtle conclusions drawn for me, thanks. I found the stories behind the companies and products featured in the book interesting.


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Many of them are lore at this point but a good story is a good story and the extra details filled them out. My only significant complaint is regarding the style of writing. The book is aware that it's a "book" and the repeated asides "This concept should be familiar by now. When a concept is repeated over and over throughout the book, pointin I found the stories behind the companies and products featured in the book interesting. When a concept is repeated over and over throughout the book, pointing it out repeatedly is unnecessary.

This doesn't get in the way of the valuable lessons, but it's annoying. Oct 14, John rated it really liked it.

Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons by Jay Greene

Really enjoyed this book. I like how it was not "preachy" and it really showcased each different company and high-lighted there differences and showed their strengths in their particular industry. I like how they showcased how big companies today, started off small to solve for a niche item or for a personal reason. The Ace Hotels info was fascinating in how they balance using local flavor with making the Really enjoyed this book.

I recommend this book for a good read or up and coming designers or those interested in design. Finding the Next Steve Jobs. The Corset and the Crinoline. The Evolution of Craft Beer and Design. Design Is The Problem. How Reliable is Your Product? The Stark Tension between Flair and Discretion. Overpromise and Overdeliver Revised Edition. Killer Marketing for Indie Authors. The End of Advertising. The Social Life of Materials. Magic of Selling Art: Absolutely the best book on selling Art!

It unveils the magic in a step-by-step guide for you to succeed every time. The Physics of Brand. How to write a great review. The review must be at least 50 characters long. The title should be at least 4 characters long. Your display name should be at least 2 characters long. At Kobo, we try to ensure that published reviews do not contain rude or profane language, spoilers, or any of our reviewer's personal information. You submitted the following rating and review. We'll publish them on our site once we've reviewed them.

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Item s unavailable for purchase. Please review your cart. You can remove the unavailable item s now or we'll automatically remove it at Checkout. Instead, Greene's book stands as the first post-Apple design book we've profiled here. The contribution of design to Apple's success is taken as a given.

The following case studies fully support that thesis, but it's a pearl of wisdom or two in Clif Bar case study that should get corporate America's attention. Even though we are spared another Apple case, a few of the usual suspects show up early on. Sam Faber's OXO is profiled; complete with the canonical story of his wife Betsey's arthritis and how that led from bicycle gripped vegetable peelers to a wide range of ergonomic cooking utensils.

What Greene does differently than most other business book writers is dig deeper, not just repeating the story anecdotally but interviewing the key players to try to find what drives them. The OXO case study is supportive of one of his main theses, that the way to craft successful products that drive sales is to pay attention to users on the fringes of the customer base.

Greene calls these users outliers, but REI, Clif Bar and Nike might call them extreme athletes, while Virgin Atlantic has its road warriors and Porsche has speed freaks. For OXO the elderly or the arthritic may be sensitive to form factors that healthy and youthful users might ignore. Correcting the product for the needs of that outlier population actually enhances the product for the rest of the user base. In that industry, designing for the fringe actually promotes "universal design.

For that company, the hard core user might need a sleeping bag rated for arctic temperatures. For the core user, a bag like that is total overkill, but just like for OXO, exploring the needs of the fringe quickly reveals problems with products that would never be identified by the casual user. Only from that standpoint can products be improved from good to great. Each of the case studies in Design is How it Works reinforces two central tenets: Of those two maxims, the first is eminently achievable by any mid-level executive with sufficient resources in almost any corporate environment.