Dan Roam

Back of The Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures

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    emmayagmurovahas quotedlast year
    timeline shows the relationship of things over time
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    the only challenge with most maps is coming up with a meaningful coordinate system;
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    n order to figure out which customers to go out and talk to, we need to create a portrait of who we think they are.
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    To show to others what we saw, we create a portrait (or qualitative representation) that represents the most evident of those qualities, emphasizing especially those that made our object visually distinct from others.
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    o use the codex, we first select the appropriate framework on the vertical axis (portrait for who, map for where, etc.), then slide across the horizontal axis using the points of the SQVID to select the best version of that framework. In some cases, no icon appears because no appropriate version of that framework exists (there is no reason to qualitatively show how much, for example.)
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    Who/what becomes a portrait, how many becomes a chart, where becomes a map, when becomes a timeline, how becomes a flowchart, and why becomes a multiple-variable plot.
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    • Simple-Elaborate
    • Qualitative-Quantitative
    • Vision-Execution
    • Individual-Comparison
    • Change-Status quo
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    know where we’re going.” Other times, all the audience needs to hear is that “we know exactly how we’re going to get there.” This is the difference between vision and execution,
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    DISSECTING THE SQVID
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    Looking is the open process of collecting visual information, seeing is the narrowing process of putting the visual pieces together in order to make sense of them. Looking is collecting; seeing is selecting and identifying patterns.
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    First order of business? Figure out which way is up. We needed to find a coordinate system to get us pointed upright, so we defined a model that mapped who/what (competitors) versus how much (revenue).
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    look, see, imagine, show. The four steps of poker correspond exactly to the four steps of visual thinking.
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    Known as the 6 W’s, they were introduced to us way back in elementary school as the basis of good storytelling: who, what, when, where, how, why.
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    . Thewho/what: The list of competitors, the industries they served, and the products they offered.
    2. Thehow much: The size of each competitor based on total revenue and revenue per industry.
    3. Thewhen: The two years for which we had good sales and revenue data.
    4. Thewhere: The industries each competitor served.
    Then we plotted on top of all that:
    5. Thehow: How did the brand survey findings (brand recognition) map to all these factors?
    What emerged was a single picture that summarized all the data, showing the most important insight of all:
    6. Thewhy: When looking at the chart, Daphne was able to finally see why her company was unknown to her clients, and why a positive change was possible.
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    What people want to DO (or what we want them to do) determines function; what people want to KNOW (or what we want them to know) determines content; and what we want them to REMEMBER determines the brand.
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    Visual thinking means taking advantage of our innate ability to see—both with our eyes and with our mind’s eye—in order to discover ideas that are otherwise invisible, develop those ideas quickly and intuitively, and then share those ideas with other people in a way that they simply “get.”
    Bazulin Andreyhas quoted2 years ago
    It’s always better to be proactive about labeling and leave no doubt about what we’re showing
    Bazulin Andreyhas quoted2 years ago
    A good way to start any picture is to draw a circle and give it a name
    Bazulin Andreyhas quoted3 years ago
    If she was going to spend millions of dollars promoting the company’s brand, she’d better have a rock-solid plan behind her and a crystal-clear vision ahead
    Bazulin Andreyhas quoted3 years ago
    the problems that I usually focus on are business related: getting teams of people to understand how a system works and where they fit into that system, helping a decision maker clarify his or her own thinking and improve the ways she or he conveys ideas to others, understanding a market and the potential impact that changes to a product may have on it
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