Dan Gardner is the New York Times best-selling author of Risk, Future Babble, Superforecasting (co-authored with Philip E. Tetlock), and How Big Things Get Done (co-authored with Bent Flyvbjerg). His books have been published in 26 countries and 20 languages. Prior to becoming an author, Gardner was an award-winning investigative journalist. More >

Frank Gehry: On Budget and On Time

In Harvard Business Review, Bent Flyvbjerg and I have an essay about the legendary architect Frank Gehry and a fact that is as little-known as it is surprising and insightful: Frank Gehry not only designs buildings so wildly innovative that they function both as practical space and thrilling sculpture, he delivers them on budget and on time. This would be remarkable under any circumstances. But when you consider how truly, spectacularly, grotesquely awful the track record of major projects is -- only a small fraction come in on time and on budget -- it is nothing less than miraculous.

So how does he do it? And what does Gehry's experience tell us about big projects should be planned and delivered?

I think the essay is substantive and important on its own, but it's actually an adaptation of work we did for our forthcoming book, How Big Things Get Done: The Surprising Factors That Determine the Fate of Every Project, From Home Renovations to Space Exploration and Everything In Between. It will be released February 7, 2023. For more about it, and how you can pre-order, try here.