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Meltdown

Financial Times’ best business books of the year, 2018

‘Endlessly fascinating, brimming with insight, and more fun than a book about failure has any right to be.’ – Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit

What can we learn from our most disastrous failures?

An accidental overdose in a state-of-the-art hospital.

The Starbucks publicity stunt that spectacularly backfired.

The mix-up at the 2017 Oscars ceremony.

As technology rapidly advances, it brings with it an explosion of complexity that can trip us up. Meltdown uses real-life examples to reveal how errors in thinking, perception, and design lie behind both our everyday mistakes and our most terrifying disasters. It reveals how a five-minute exercise can prevent billion-dollar catastrophes, why teams with fewer experts are better at managing risk, and why diversity is one of our best safeguards against failure. This eye-opening book will change the way you see our complex world – and your place within it.

‘Essential reading.’ – Martin Ford, bestselling author of Rise of the Robots

Meltdown

‘Endlessly fascinating, brimming with insight, and more fun than a book about failure has any right to be.’ – Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit

A groundbreaking exploration of how complexity causes failure in business and life – and how to prevent it.

An accidental overdose in a state-of-the-art hospital. The Post Office software that led to a multimillion-pound lawsuit. The mix-up at the 2017 Oscars Awards ceremony. An overcooked meal on holiday. At first glance, these events have little in common. But surprising new research shows that many modern failures share similar causes.

In Meltdown, world-leading experts in disaster prevention, Chris Clearfield and András Tilcsik, use real-life examples to reveal the errors in thinking, perception, and system design that lie behind both our everyday errors and disasters like the Fukushima nuclear accident. But most crucially, Meltdown is about finding solutions. It reveals why ugly designs make us safer, how a five-minute exercise can prevent billion-dollar catastrophes, why teams with fewer experts are better at managing risk, and why diversity is one of our best safeguards against failure. The result is an eye-opening and empowering book – one that will change the way you see our complex world and your own place within it.