Review: Design is How it Works

Book Review: Design is How it Works by Jay Greene

Here’s a book that really had me captivated. I love biographies and I love autobiographies even more. There’s something about a successful individual giving someone else access to the life to write an unfettered and straight-talking essay on their lives. For one, it takes guts to be so confident in one’s own life and two, it takes a lot of effort and talent to accurately write about someone you may have never met.

Author Jay Greene works as a reporter inside the companies, offices and brains of some of the world’s most popular companies like Nike, Virgin, LEGO and Porsche. Greene interviews the CEOs, the teams, the marketers and the users of the products. He digs into the past of each of the companies and beautifully explains how they came to be the way they are today. He spells out the risks companies take, when they succeed and when they fail.

In the case of Virgin and its founder Richard Branson, Greene shares his own experiences testing out Virgin’s airlines, wedding boutiques and other forays. Greene comes off as someone you trust and someone who isn’t so out of touch with the mainstream that his own genuine surprise at using various products comes across in his writing.

This is an excellent book for anyone interested in learning how great companies are born, how they develop products (from LEGO bricks to vegetable peelers) and the inspiration behind it all.

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