Dealing with imperfect information

An entrepreneur and I had a great conversation yesterday afternoon. One topic within the conversation is that entrepreneurs, like combat soldiers, have to make decisions given situations with imperfect information. Being able to make good decisions consistently ensures survival.

Military members are trained to make decisions in the fog of war. We use constraints like time to ring fence and prevent over-thinking. We use first-principle thinking to distill the one mission-critical objective and to eliminate the non-mission critical objectives. We formulate a framework to discipline our analysis - to understand what information is needed to make the optimal decision. We gather information within the time constraint and framework. And then we make a decision.

We conduct AAR's afterwards to critique this process and whether we had the wrong objective or framework. We don't critique the decision.