Business drawing lessons from Dan Roam


Even a simple drawing can clarify any idea and captivate readers. Either you write about emotions, talk about science or communicate software architecture, a coherent diagram will always help. In this blog post, I introduce Dan Roam teachings.

Tim Urban, the author of the blog Wait But Why, uses simple drawings to explain topics like space, neuroscience or artificial intelligence. From an artistic point of view, Tim’s pictures are bad. But it always puts a smile on my face, and most importantly, communicates any message. I want to draw like him.

In 2008 Dan Roam wrote a bestselling book: “The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures”. As the description puts, the book presents “a new way to tackle tough business problems—even if you draw like a second grader”. It looks I found a book for myself.

Stop thinking about drawing as an artistic process. Drawing is a thinking process - Dan Roam

Oh no, I suck at drawing, it’s not for me

I get it, and the below TED talk is dedicated to people like you and me.

Drawing tools from Dan Roam

While presenting any idea/solution/problem, you will have to answer questions like who, how much, where, when, how, why. Find out how to visualize each item.

Visit Dan Roam’s website for more visual tricks and tools.

A quick lesson on how to draw anything

Find inspirations and enhance your message

The reason I like drawing is that there is less headache with copyright laws. Remeber, a vast majority of images you find on the internet is a subject for copyright. Therefore use pictures from Google Images only as inspirations, later in a graphics program (I am using Adobe Illustrator) draw your version. Combine multiple illustrations to convey your message. How to represent a car, a house or visualise a jump with a parachute? Give it a spin!

A few blog posts where I drew the illustrations myself:

Saying NO

Anxious or excited? It’s up to you!

My delegation lessons.


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

“Draw to Win: A Crash Course on How to Lead, Sell, and Innovate With Your Visual Mind”

I'm Valdas Maksimavicius. I write about data, cloud technologies and personal development. You can find more about me here.