Dealing with doubt and making decisions when you don’t have all the information you’d like aren’t easy things for entrepreneurs.  Today we discuss ways we think about doubt and how we push through that to make decisions even in the times where we may not have all the data we think we need.  

Hiten says communicating with confidence is different than communicating with no doubt.  He feels doubt is an internal thing  and confidence can be in how you communicate.  Steli talks about how startups need to make decisions based on imperfect data.  We compare the idea of not knowing something to not knowing the gender of your child before he or she is born.  When expecting parents don’t know, they end up hedging on what colors and styles to buy in anticipation of the baby’s arrival.  

Entrepreneurs will hedge in certain circumstance when they don’t have all the information and and hedging is compromising.  You end up being in the middle which can lead to complacency.  As Steli says people need to be comfortable placing a bet, going all in and possibly being wrong.  As an entrepreneur you need to get comfortable with the idea that you will be wrong at times.    

We talk about methods of dealing with doubt including:

  • Using a matrix, a spreadsheet with criteria to to move yourself out of a state of doubt over something
  • How making people guess can be a very beneficial process
  • Finding the team person who is able to live in doubt land
  • Gaining the help of others in lessening doubt

Steli talks about how flip-flopping on direction can leave your employees cynical and result in burnout. Hiten feels success comes from making fast decisions and the act of making decisions leads you to become better at making decisions.  

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