"When I need to make a challenging decision I use ________"
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?
- SaaS to enable systematic 1) making and 2) tracking of multivariate/high-impact decisions
- Treat decision making is a skill; give people a "place" to practice that skill (Tyler Cowen has two related posts: Learn like an athlete, knowledge workers should train & How I practice at what I do)
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
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
- see below for my mix of google docs/spreadsheet tracker
What are the core benefits?
- Feeling of safety
- Feeling of control
- Ability to improve decision making as a skill
What are the core risks?based on: How to De-Risk a Startup
- Product/market fit risk (lol) - is this actually something people want?
- Entirely unclear, though folks (i.e. Kevin Kwok on Venture Stories, Michael Mauboussin on Farnam Street) routinely talk about having decision making processes
- Those that could benefit from such a tool/process may be most resistant to this form of self-measurement
- Market risk - is the unknown market big enough to support a VC backed company
Why (not) 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
- Narrow-AI will erode rote work (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
- this is a solution in search of a problem
- too few value "decision making" as a standalone skill or practice
- other tools are stand-ins for decision making, and suffice
- too few people would be excited by this level of transparency and accountability; whether with themselves or within a group
annnnd some templates I've made and use:
- Decision Making Log [template]
- Decision Making Framework (Koch) [template]
- Farnam Street Decision Journal [template]
- SPADE Framework [template]
- Greg's Personal Long Form Problem/Solution Statement [template]