Time Is (Not Always) On My Side: The Importance of Making Decisions Quickly

I find ideation tough. Coming up with the right project (or blog entry) at the right time is a tricky thing to do. In a world where time is infinite, startups (or me) could ideate for a long time and choose the right projects when appropriate.

But the real world doesn't work that way. For example, a startup that I'm advising was faced with a decision to choose between two products to build, each project with different constraints. The founder's time is limited, and it was incredibly important to choose wisely, and to choose quickly.

In a perfect world, I would have advised to keep ideating. But this perfect world doesn't exist.

Army doctrine holds that you always keep moving on a mission. The logic is that as long as you move, you are not a sitting duck for the enemy. You find out more information about the enemy's whereabouts. And you get into the habit of going forward to the enemy, rather than passively waiting.

In a recent post, Seth Godin suggested we should spend time connecting the dots rather than collecting dots; in other words, the secret sauce is in finding the right patterns in data.

And how do you do that? By executing along hypothesized patterns of data, and keep on executing until you've found the right patterns.

Time is not always on my side. But that's not the point; making decisions and executing quickly is far more important in moving forward.

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