The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less by Barry Schwartz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t think there’s much new psychology research in this book, but it’s written in an easy-to-read manner. It’s particularly worthwhile for those of us who build things in the digital world (and, of course, for anyone who wonders why they are anxious about the choices they make.)

I’ve used quite a bit of what I learned from The Paradox of Choice in all aspects of my life: writing, teaching, and running a Web collective. It’s important to remember that choice is useful as a mechanism, but it’s also intimidating.

For instance, I used to keep my writing projects separated online, using individual websites for each book or project. While it felt clean to me, that separation made it increasingly difficult for people to understand what I did and how it tied together. Instead of thinking of each project individually, I focused on categorizing them under one banner, e.g. The Geeky Press, and focusing exclusively on reducing the complexity of offerings.

There’s so many reasons why people should read this book, but maybe the most valuable is that it helps you think about how we communicate.

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This newsletter is the outgrowth of The Downtown Writers Jam podcast. What that means is I will collect information about the authors I interview, book happenings around the Web, and other literary events that I find interesting. Without you, I'm just a crazy guy sitting in his office furiously screaming on the page for no reason.
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