Most, if not, every decision in a startup has to be made in the midst of uncertainty.
If you are introducing a service in a market, especially with a go-to-market strategy that has not been tested before, its going to be doubly difficult. You haven’t figured anything out yet. You don’t which channels will work , if they will work at all. You don’t which segment of the market will be receptive to your service offerings , if any at all will be.
There is never any perfect solution to startup decision making. You just have to pick one and move forward sometimes – Hard ,cold Data-based , not “common sense” based or “widely-accepted” based but pure data based. But at many other times, you have to pick a decision much in contrary to data, by gut. The difficult part is to know which to choose when. And I believe decision making IQ i.e. knowing whether to pursue a data driven decision or a gut-based decision comes through two things :-
1. Having a vision of how your service / product will change the world in the next 10 years or so.
2. Having a deep – vertical and horizontal knowledge, inside and out of what is happening in your industry, your market , in your geography and across the world, both at the center and at the edges of the industry. Technology cycles, political patterns and vested interests and historical patterns of your specific industry across the world and how they have morphed.
To put it simply, its like Keysi.
In Keysi, you train some moves with or without shadow opponents, day-in and day-out, study various opponents moves and other fighting styles vigorously and if it so happens, that you end up in a bar-fight, your body moves intuitively.
That is how you should train the mind to make decisions – either fact-based or gut based as times dictate. But at either times, it should become intuitive to a leader or a fighter.
Because starting up and winning is not very unlike a bar-fight.