Overengineered Cookies

Risk systems are like cookies

Overengineered Cookies

Last Saturday, with my wife and elder daughter away for the day, I found myself at home with my 5yr old daughter and very little planned. That didn’t last long obviously. She decided she wanted to make some cookies (for her sister’s birthday). 

My talents with baking till this point, went as far as removing frozen fish and chips from their packaging and putting them in the oven at 200C for 21 minutes. My 5yr old wasn’t about to take no for an answer though. 

So we set about watching a few (too many) videos on how to make cookies and read a few suggested recipes. She picked her favourites while I did a meta analysis of the all the different recipes and techniques to came up with one we would use. Subsequently, we set off to buy the ingredients. A few hours later we had some cookies (as evidenced by the picture below). They were really good too! No there aren’t any left (sorry). 

The next day, as we sat around the table with family eating the cookies, my daughter and I told the story of how we made them. A few minutes into this my wife blurted out: “So you managed to find a way to overengineer even the cookies!”.

Those of you that know me well (or have visited me at home) are probably already smirking. The rest may need a little more information. Some five or so years ago we bought a house. Like many first-time buyers, I went into this thinking I have about two weeks of DIY to get it looking how I want. Countless hours of research into raw materials, tools, construction methods and even actual DIY later… well let’s just say I’m still two weeks away from it being complete!

My wife has so far begrudgingly accepted that if I do something, while the end result may genuinely be fantastic, it will be overengineered to the nth degree and probably take ten times longer than she had imagined even in her most pessimistic scenarios.

So why am I telling you all this? Well, you see risk systems are a bit like cookies. After you’ve seen enough of them, there really isn’t anything new. Some have nuts and others have chocolate chips. Some brown the butter and some just use it at room temperature. Fundamentally though, there are very similar.

Having seen as many risk systems as we have at HMx Labs, that meta-analysis to pick the best bits from all of them gets a lot easier.