A Perfect Mess

The Hidden Benefits of Disorder--How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-the-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place

Contributors

By David H. Freedman

By Eric Abrahamson

Formats and Prices

Price

$18.99

Price

$23.99 CAD

Format

Format:

  1. Trade Paperback $18.99 $23.99 CAD
  2. ebook $9.99 $12.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around January 8, 2008. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Ever since Einstein’s study of Brownian Motion, scientists have understood that a little disorder can actually make systems more effective. But most people still shun disorder-or suffer guilt over the mess they can’t avoid. No longer! With a spectacular array of true stories and case studies of the hidden benefits of mess, A Perfect Mess overturns the accepted wisdom that tight schedules, organization, neatness, and consistency are the keys to success.

Drawing on examples from business, parenting, cooking, the war on terrorism, retail, and even the meteoric career of Arnold Schwarzenegger, coauthors Abrahmson and Freedman demonstrate that moderately messy systems use resources more efficiently, yield better solutions, and are harder to break than neat ones.Applying this idea on scales both large (government, society) and small (desktops, garages), A Perfect Mess uncovers all the ways messiness can trump neatness, and will help you assess the right amount of disorder for any system.

Whether it’s your company’s management plan or your hallway closet that bedevils you, this book will show you why to say yes to mess.

Genre:

On Sale
Jan 8, 2008
Page Count
352 pages
Publisher
Back Bay Books
ISBN-13
9780316013994

David H. Freedman

About the Author

David H. Freedman (www.freedman.com) is a contributing editor at Inc. Magazine. His articles on science, business and technology have appeared in theAtlantic, Newsweek, the New York Times, the Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Science, Wired, and many other publications.

His previous book (coauthored) is A Perfect Mess, about the useful role of disorder in daily life, business and science. He is also the author of books about the U.S. Marines, computer crime, and artificial intelligence. Freedman casts a critical eye on headline health news at his blog, Making Sense of Medicine.

Learn more about this author

Eric Abrahamson

About the Author

Eric Abrahamson is a professor of management at Columbia University’s School of Business, and author of Change Without Pain.

David H. Freedman is the author of three books, and is a business and science journalist who has written for The Atlantic Monthly, Newsweek, and Wired, among others. Abrahamson lives in New York, and Freedman in Massachusetts.

Learn more about this author