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A Unique Identity

  • Who Is EDIT?
  • What We Believe
  • Who We Help
  • Where It Began
  • Bio: Matthew E. May

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Unique Identity

E DIT Innovation is a unique strategy group founded by innovation coach and author Matthew E. May to inspire and accelerate growth through innovation in organizations all over the world. We serve as an innovation catalyst, helping your team develop fresh ideas and explore creative approaches to your most pressing challenges.

Singular Focus

EDIT works exclusively with organizations wanting to create, develop and grow their business by becoming better innovators. We specialize in engagements that focus one or more of three core areas: setting innovation strategy, launching new concepts, and building creative strength.

Compelling Value

E DIT offers executive guidance, workshop design and facilitation, creative team coaching, and innovation method training. We tailor our approach to your needs, and align our efforts to your most important goals and aspirations. At the same time, we offer a series of time-tested workshops designed to get your team up to speed quickly.

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S uccess today requires the ability to stand out and stay relevant in a massively disruptive and mostly distracting business environment. Innovation is the path to that end. The best innovators have picked up on the desire for people to tune out the noise, and a key strategy is offering less, not more.

At EDIT, we believe the biggest opportunities for innovation can be realized by simplifying offerings and streamlining processes, making them more elegant and engaging. We practice the art and discipline of subtraction, and we are quite simply at our best when working with less.

When you remove just the right things in just the right way, something good happens.

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W e're fortunate to have partnered with some of the world's most visible and engaging brands, including those pictured here.

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W hen Toyota called EDIT founder Matthew E. May to facilitate a 3-day strategy summit in 1998, a journey began. Toyota retained him full-time for eight years. The experience changed his outlook, his thinking, and his life.

one call started it all

Matthew's long-term partnership with Toyota launched him on an altogether new career path. EDIT was born not too long after the publication of his award-winning 2006 book, The Elegant Solution: Toyota's Formula for Mastering Innovation. Next came best-selling In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing, in 2009, and The Shibumi Strategy: A Powerful Way to Create Meaningful Change, in 2010, which won the Axiom Award for Best Business Fable.

Finally, in 2012, came The Laws of Subtraction: 6 Simple Rules for Winning in the Age of Excess Everything.

E DIT founder Matthew E. May has the best job in the world: part creativity coach, part innovation catalyst. Matt works with creative teams all over the world, helping them track down elegant solutions to complex problems. On matters of innovation and design strategy he is a close advisor to senior management of companies such as Amgen, Toyota, ADP, Intuit, and Edmunds.com.

He is the author of four critically acclaimed, award-winning, and/or bestselling books on business innovation:

THE LAWS OF SUBTRACTION: 6 Simple Rules for Winning in the Age of Excess Everything (McGraw-Hill, ©2013). 800CEORead bestseller.

THE SHIBUMI STRATEGY: A Powerful Way to Create Meaningful Change (Jossey-Bass,  ©2011). Gold medal winner, Axiom Award for Best Business Fable.

IN PURSUIT OF ELEGANCE: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing (Crown Business  ©2009, 2010). Named to 2009 BusinessWeek Best Books in Design and Innovation list.

THE ELEGANT SOLUTION: Toyota's Formula for Mastering Innovation (Free Press, ©2007). Winner, Shingo Prize for Research.

Matt is a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review blogs, Fast Company Design, OPEN Forum Idea Hub, and University of Toronto's The Rotman Magazine. His articles have appeared in frog design's Design Mind, Thinkers50.comMIT/Sloan Management Review, Strategy+BusinessQuartz, and USAToday.

Matt's work has been featured or mentioned in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune, USA Today, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Time, Forbes, INC magazine, Fast Company, Wharton Leadership Digest, CIO Insight, American Enterprise Institute, The Miami Herald, and The Los Angeles Times. He has appeared on numerous radio shows, television, and online shows, including MSNBC, NPR, and ESPN.

Matt received his training in design thinking from the Stanford d school, holds an MBA in Marketing and Organization Design from The Wharton School, as well as a BA in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Johns Hopkins University,  but he considers winning the The New Yorker cartoon caption contest as one of his proudest and most creative achievements.

Frequently Given Answers

H ere are Matt's most frequently given answers, tidbits and trivia otherwise known as FGAs.

1. I define an elegant solution as one that achieves the maximum effect with the minimum means.

2. I share a worldview with The Who: “The Simple Things You See Are All Complicated.” That means you have to change the way you think about the world.

3. My best advice, borrowed from Jim Collins, is: “Stop Doing.” Everyone’s got a To-Do List. How many have a To-Don't List?

4. My go-to strategy: subtraction. As Lao Tzu said: "To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, subtract things every day."

5. The best way to engage me is by asking questions. Ones that make me think.

6. I'm drawn to subtractive design, lean thinking, and everyday ingenuity, the simpler and more powerful — that is, the more elegant — the better.

to attain wisdom, subtract things every day
Lao Tzu

7. I respect the written word, but I greatly admire and appreciate visual approaches.

8. I spent eight years working with and for Toyota’s U.S. headquarters, during which time I became a master kaizen (continuous improvement and innovation) instructor and coach. I can help you decipher their lean mystique and make it work in your company.

9. I don’t have any scholarly conceptual models. I am a practitioners, and prefer to focus on things I've seen work in the real world, or that I truly believe will work in the future world, based on today’s real-world problems.

10. Don’t ask me to parse Design Thinking, Lean Thinking, Systems Thinking, Six Sigma, Agile, Kaizen, Innovation, TRIZ, TQM, Reengineering, etc. They are all just different denominations in the church of the customer…innovation disciplines and ways to solve the same basic problem (as John Maeda's 10th law of simplicity states): subtracting the obvious to add the meaningful.