February 14, 2018

CEO School: Decisions

The most difficult thing is the decision to act,
The rest is merely tenacity.
Amelia Earhart

Jeff Bezos credits his success to High Velocity Decision Making
The DoubleM IdeaGrinder™ can help you with that.

The DoubleM IdeaGrinder™

The Problem

I have for some time been impressed with the absence of any generally available system for evaluating the potential success of a business.  There are people who spend a lot of time looking at lots of different businesses, and at different stages of development, from startup to mature cash cow or IPO.  But there seems to be no system, no organized, structured way of looking at a business. 

To complicate this matter of developing a standard System, there are different perspectives of evaluating the potential for success of a business. The startup entrepreneur is different from the 4th generation owner, and they have different views than the early stage angel investor or the series A venture capitalist.

It seems reasonable that professional investors would have a proprietary method, but what about the rest of us?  There should be a generalized, customizable System...

Along those same lines, some entrepreneurs have lots of ideas about what kind of business they would like to start, but have trouble deciding which is the best. Indecision is fatal. But how best to decide?

I am not a product of my circumstances.
I am a product of my decisions.
Stephen Covey

The Solution

Step one is to Write It Down. Get it out of your head and into an organized format so you can see it more clearly. The simplest way to do this is Benjamin Franklin's approach of drawing a line down the center of a page, and at the top, writing Pro on one side and Con on the other. Now just list all the positives and negatives of the decision. That works fine for one option, a Go-NoGo decision; but what about selecting from multiple, mutually exclusive options?

In 2003, over a series of meetings with good friend Alex Wenz, I developed a simple methodology to choose the best among his surplus of startup ideas.  We looked at the various elements of a business that were important to him, built a little spreadsheet and called it the IdeaGrinder™. 

If you're familiar with spreadsheets you'll be able to easily understand it, and add/change/delete formulas, columns, and rows to suit your needs. Contact me if you want help with it. 

1. From the Google spreadsheet menu, select File - Make a Copy.
2. Customize your copy to suit your situation.
3. Decide!


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Deciding what not to do
is as important as deciding what to do.
Steve Jobs