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Addition by Subtraction
Addition by Subtraction
Addition by Subtraction
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Overview

Commonly used in art and sport, but just as relevant for product design, UX, architecture, entrepreneurship, personal development, and al ...

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Quod, inquit, quamquam voluptatibus quibusdam est saepe iucundius, tamen expetitur propter voluptatem. An dolor longissimus quisque miserrimus, voluptatem non optabiliorem diuturnitas facit? Et ille ridens: Video, inquit, quid agas; Sin kakan malitiam dixisses, ad aliud nos unum certum vitium consuetudo Latina traduceret. Duo Reges: constructio interrete. Tu vero, inquam, ducas licet, si sequetur; Est tamen ea secundum naturam multoque nos ad se expetendam magis hortatur quam superiora omnia. Quorum sine causa fieri nihil putandum est.

Nos quidem Virtutes sic natae sumus, ut tibi serviremus, aliud negotii nihil habemus. Mihi enim satis est, ipsis non satis. Inde sermone vario sex illa a Dipylo stadia confecimus. Sullae consulatum? Suo enim quisque studio maxime ducitur. Scaevola tribunus plebis ferret ad plebem vellentne de ea re quaeri.

Qualis ista philosophia est, quae non interitum afferat pravitatis, sed sit contenta mediocritate vitiorum? Eam tum adesse, cum dolor omnis absit; Conferam avum tuum Drusum cum C. Nec enim, omnes avaritias si aeque avaritias esse dixerimus, sequetur ut etiam aequas esse dicamus. Saepe ab Aristotele, a Theophrasto mirabiliter est laudata per se ipsa rerum scientia; Si stante, hoc natura videlicet vult, salvam esse se, quod concedimus;

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Actionable Takeaways
  • Pause before you add. 

Whether you’re facing a pro ...

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nihil ad rem! Ne sit sane; Deinde prima illa, quae in congressu solemus: Quid tu, inquit, huc? Cum id fugiunt, re eadem defendunt, quae Peripatetici, verba. Quam ob rem tandem, inquit, non satisfacit? Duo Reges: constructio interrete. Quaesita enim virtus est, non quae relinqueret naturam, sed quae tueretur. Haec para/doca illi, nos admirabilia dicamus.

Ea possunt paria non esse. Illa videamus, quae a te de amicitia dicta sunt. Non igitur de improbo, sed de callido improbo quaerimus, qualis Q. Equidem, sed audistine modo de Carneade? Sin kakan malitiam dixisses, ad aliud nos unum certum vitium consuetudo Latina traduceret. Est autem etiam actio quaedam corporis, quae motus et status naturae congruentis tenet;

Nemo igitur esse beatus potest. At negat Epicurus-hoc enim vestrum lumen estquemquam, qui honeste non vivat, iucunde posse vivere. Quae hic rei publicae vulnera inponebat, eadem ille sanabat. Hoc dixerit potius Ennius: Nimium boni est, cui nihil est mali. Propter nos enim illam, non propter eam nosmet ipsos diligimus. De quibus cupio scire quid sentias.

Limitations

Addition by Subtraction is a useful concept but obviously will not always apply. Some things are simply complicated and will require greater investment or inputs. Some things can not just be reduced to create more value. Sometimes more, might actually be the answer. 

For example, in this cost-cutting environment for business, it's tempting to assume that this concept just means cutting back on staff. However, another option might involve investing more in sales and marketing or investing to change a product line to better engage with a shifting market. 

In Practice

iPhone.

Apple’s removal of the iPhone’s physical keyboard can be seen as an example of delivering new value with less apparent product.  

Atlassian’s no-jerk policy. 

When software company Atlassian wanted to improve the output of their developers, one of the initiatives they took was to apply a ‘no jerk’ policy. This involved exiting talented but arrogant developers who they believed were holding their respective teams back. 

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Origins & Resources

As noted in the main summary, Addition by Subtraction has been around in many forms, for many years, and we could not attribute it to one prime thinker. 

Some notable advocates include artist Donald Judd, a leader of the minimalist art movement; the architect Mies Van der Rohe who argued that ‘less is more’ as a key proponent of modernist architecture; Warren Buffett who applies it in his approach to investing, and even Steve Jobs whose focus on a streamlined Apple business model is sometimes cited as his clear prioritisation approach. 

 

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