Saturday, August 17, 2019

A rough hypothesis on: Decision Making

"When I need to make a complex decision I use ________"

Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash

What is the core problem? 

It is stressful and challenging (time consuming, cognitively demanding) to make complex (multivariate & impactful) decisions.

What is the product idea?

Who is it solving that problem for? (beachhead segment only)

  • Mental model communities (i.e. Farnam Street)
    • No easy way to implement mental models they learn
  • Startup leaders
    • Decision making is #1 meta skill, and there is no easy way to practice and improve decision-making-as-a-skill
  • Individual contributors (added 6/24/20) 
    • some companies (i.e. Stripe, Coda, Coinbase, Square) tout an internal decision making process
    • make it easier for individual contributors to run this process supported by product

What are they dissatisfied with? (current market alternative)

  • Mental accounting 
  • Personal process (google docs/spreadsheets)
    • this is based on personal experience that I'm deeply unsure is experienced by anyone else

What are the core benefits?

  • Feeling of safety 
  • Feeling of control

What are the core risks? 

Based on: How to De-Risk a Startup

  • Product/market fit risk (lol) - is this actually something people want?
  • Market risk - is the unknown market big enough to support a VC backed company 

Why (not) now?

  • Now 
    • A small set of people are already doing some version of this behavior
      • tap into that small set of people
      • bootstrap to build great product
      • hope that a larger wave comes years down the line
    • Remote companies are growing (both themselves, and as a way to operate)
      • communication among remote teams is more challenging than when co-located
      • implementing a shared decision-making process to async assess, make, reflect on decisions is a recursive value-add to teams
    • Long term, narrow-AI will erode rote work (Roy Bahat: The C-Suite Gets an Upgrade)
      • two skills will be most valued in future 1) the ability to create and 2) the ability to decide 
        • decision making (general intelligence) will be the last to be AI'ed away
      • future proof yourself! 
  • Not now
    • Other tools are stand-ins for decision making, and suffice 
    • Too few people value "decision making" as a standalone skill or practice
  • Never
    • Too few people would be excited by this level of transparency and accountability; whether with themselves or within a group
    • This is a solution in search of a problem

annnnd some templates I've made and use: