How Barack Obama made tough decisions

I’ve been interested in how people make decisions ever since I enter the decision-driven world of fast paced tech startups nearly 40 years ago. In fact I tell people interested in joining startups that they are really going to join decision machines – they will be making more decisions, and more consequential decisions, than every … Continue reading “How Barack Obama made tough decisions”

Tuning up the decision machine

Do you have a “golden gut”? Do you “go with your gut” when it’s time to make decisions? Do you make snap decisions? Well either way I highly recommend you read Steven Johnson’s new book, Farsighted, How We Make the Decisions that Matter the Most. The major takeaway is that we all have cognitive biases … Continue reading “Tuning up the decision machine”

Decision making – one of a founder’s top priorities

I keep a lengthy file of topics for this blog. Sitting in the list, gathering dust, is “postmortems and premortems” – a topic I haven’t gotten to, probably because I hadn’t come across a relevant article or book. But Sunday’s New York Times provided both. Steven Johnson, a prolific writer about science and the history … Continue reading “Decision making – one of a founder’s top priorities”

How to make decisions, or how to avoid the deadly embrace!

  As I’ve posted before, startups are decision machines. Founders will be making exponentially more decisions than they ever have in their lives. And making those decisions with far less information than the executives in mature companies. Estimates say you will only have 80% of the information of an established company. Here are some other … Continue reading “How to make decisions, or how to avoid the deadly embrace!”

How do you make decisions?

I’ve said elsewhere that startups are decision machines, nowhere else will you have to make the number of decisions you’ll need to make as a founder. So just how do you go about making those decisions? At Mainspring Communications the chair of my advisory board had been senior VP for software development at Apple, then … Continue reading “How do you make decisions?”

The rent vs buy decision: MBA consulting

Most startups can’t afford the cost of even boutique consulting firms, let alone blue chip firms like McKinsey. Many can not even afford to hire an MBA-holding employee Yet they often face very complex business problems around pricing or supply chain management. What’s a startup team to do if they lack in-house business expertise? The answer is … Continue reading “The rent vs buy decision: MBA consulting”

Is it time for you to hire a COO?

One of my pet peeves as a mentor is seeing teams composed of a CEO, COO, and CTO – that’s the “company”! Where oh where is marketing and sales, I ask these founders? (They usually assume marketing and sales are like frosting, something you apply after you bake the cake to make it a bit … Continue reading “Is it time for you to hire a COO?”

How do you decide: data or gut instinct?

As I’ve written before, I consider startups to be decision machines, ones that founders must learn to live with, and if they are too thrive, to conquer. And while I have several posts about decisions, I haven’t tackled the argument of relying on data versa gut instinct. Google considers itself a decision machine, as illustrated … Continue reading “How do you decide: data or gut instinct?”

Why customer satisfaction is not enough

For those of you who think your job is done when you have satisfied your customer, the 2019 Trusted Automotive Brand Study (TABS) from AMCI has news for you.  According to the Forbes article Tesla Motors Tumbles In Key Trust Measure by Jack R. Nerad, the TBS Study again affirmed that trust accounts for more … Continue reading “Why customer satisfaction is not enough”