In the words of legendary investor Mark Suster, "Entrepreneurs don't noodle, they do." While it's important to be analytical in your decision making, it's also important to act when opportunities arise. Yesterday over drinks with some investors and entrepreneurs, I marveled at the difference between the life of a startup founder and the life of an investor. Founders manage multiple staff and stakeholders with heavy emphasis on operational issues. Meanwhile, investors manage multiple portfolio companies across a number of industries. The common trait amongst both is decisiveness.
Suster's recent blog post speaks to the value of being able to make a quick decision. For investors, not only are most investment pitches met with the answer "no", but investors recognize that some of their portfolio companies will not offer the anticipated returns. The ability to be decisive while also factoring in a margin of error is exactly what keeps both worlds running smoothly.
Says Suster, " The best entrepreneurs have a bias for making quick decisions and accept that at best 70% of them will be right. They acknowledge that some decisions will be bad and they'll have to recover from them. Building a startup might be a game of inches but you don't get timeouts to pause and analyze all of your decisions."
While it's important to lay out a product plan, create a good business strategy and study your competition, don't expect to be perfect. Leave room for a margin of error and don't be afraid to pivot quickly if your company needs it. You can't be a startup founder without taking any risks - if you were really that safe you'd be working for someone else.