x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
September 11, 2012
11:30am - 1:30pm PDT
(UTC -7hrs)
Mountain View, California
United States


Featured Guest:

Matthew E. May


We live in an age of excess everything--an era of overwhelming choice, crippling complexity, and feature overload. Standing out in the age of excess everything demands a singular skill: Subtraction.
The world's most original innovators all know this: less is best. They know that by removing just the right things in just the right way, they can achieve the maximum effect through minimum means and deliver what everyone wants: a memorable and meaningful experience. Subtraction is the scalpel of value—the method by which the simplest, most elegant solutions will be created, now and in the future. Subtraction is the creative skill needed to win in the age of excess everything.
This talk delivers six simple rules for developing and deploying it:
1. What isn't there can often trump what is. (Examples: FedEx logo, Scion xB car)
2. The simplest rules create the most effective experience. (Example: urban redesign of London's Exhibition Road; Netflix vacation policy)
3. Limiting information engages the imagination. (Examples: original iPhone marketing strategy)
4. Creativity thrives under intelligent constraints. (Example: Mars Pathfinder project; Lexus LS400)
5. Break is the important part of breakthrough. (Example: Lockheed's Skunk Works)
6. Doing something isn't always better than doing nothing. (Example: Boston Consulting's mandatory downtime)

Matthew E. May is the author of the new book THE LAWS OF SUBTRACTION: 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 a 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. Matthew spoke at the London 2010 Ted Salon in hosted by frog design.

As usual, we will start with gourmet dinner, wine and networking at 6:30 pm, this will follow with featured talk and Q&A session!

Gourmet dinner and wine are included!

Join Us:


“This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED.”

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani,Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place in Long Beach, California, with simulcast in Palm Springs; TEDGlobal is held each year in Oxford, UK. TED's media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world, and the TEDFellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

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Samovar Conference Hall
1077 Independence Avenue
Mountain View, California, 94043
United States
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Organizing team


Los Altos, CA, United States