How to Make Sense of Any Mess by Abby Covert

How to Make Sense of Any Mess by Abby Covert will help you do two things:

  1. Understand how to break a big hairy problem into smaller steps so that you can approach solving it.
  2. Understand some approaches to solving it.

It will give you examples of various activities, tools (i.e. worksheets) and things to understand about problems. It’ll do this one page at a time, which is to say each of the 150ish pages covers exactly one topic, and covers it well enough that you’ll know how to move forward to the next topic. It also gives references and resources to places that you can learn more, because let’s face it, 150 topics is a few too many for anyone to cover in depth in one book.

Many of the topics in this book are topics of their own.

But that’s really the point of this book beyond all the others: it’s the book to help you find the path through the mess you’re dealing with, and help you identify what you need to know more about. It’s the solution to the “I don’t know what I don’t know” problem, at the highest level.

It’s immediately on my recommendation list for all new Information Architects, User Experience Designers, and a good number of others that are both inside the Information Technology field and outside of it. This book is well-written enough that I feel like I could hand it to someone in a totally different industry and say “Hey, here’s where to start” or “Hey, if you’ve ever wondered what I do for a living…”

I’m glad it’s a tool I can now use to make my own work better.

Now on The Interconnected: Dismantling an investment market: Patreon’s fees

Sometimes companies go down a path that significantly alters the structure of what they do and how they do it.

Sometimes they do it well, and sometimes they do it poorly.

In Dismantling an investment market: Patreon’s fees, I look at some basic info about how investing works (because working at Vanguard for 16 years did teach me a few things about the business, even if I am definitely not an investment advisor and you should talk to one of them before ever listening to me). I use the models of mutual funds and stocks to analyze what Patreon chose to do with their business (and then undo) and offer my own take on why it’s just a bad idea.