How I make decisions- By Eytan Levit (a current Junctionier)
(originally published on Eytan Levit’s blog)
“Some employees make products, some make sales; the CEO makes decisions. Therefore, a CEO can most accurately be measured by the speed and quality of those decisions. Great decisions come from CEOs who display an elite combination of intelligence, logic, and courage.” – Ben Horowitz – How Andreessen Horowitz Evaluates CEOs
In this post I’ll try to describe, also for myself, how I make decisions.
The question is how to make high impacting decisions in a fast and high quality manner. Following are the methods I’ve signaled out as the fastest ways to reach quality decisions.
Talking with smart people
I Actively try to be around as many smart people I can find. This blog and my twitter account are part of my active effort to reach more smart people I can talk with.
- The main reason that led me to apply for TheJunction was to be surrounded by smart people, and it is one of the most rewarding things I’ve done, by far. My father has a saying, “in a place where there are smart people, you learn from the walls”, I agree.
- I maintain three mental lists – my action plan, strategy and open questions on various subjects that need attending(legal, patents, scaling, tech stack related, investors, competition etc).
- I share my plans and questions with anyone that has domain expertise, and also leaving room for serendipity(coffee talks, lunches etc).
- When people respond to my plans or strategy, I usually just look for a repeating response or for advice given from someone with domain expertise. Often, an advice that repeats is true, sometimes it’s wrong – it’s your job to develop the hunch.
Helping other people
- Helping other people is a spiritual action that has amazing effects on your life, so strong, that it is mentioned in all or most religions I know.
- Helping others is so strong that it is used as a technique in helping drug addicts to get clean, and is exploited by many to convince people to do horrible things like multi layer marketing or kill other people.
- Helping others in the startup world is one of the things I enjoy most, learn from most and hope to some day be able to do it full time.
Blogs and Books
I’ve switched from reading many books to reading a select book many times. I’m currently practicing Running Lean/Ash Maurya and The 4 Hour Body/Time Ferris. Practicing means that I’m reading them, implementing their ideas, seeing what works for me and what doesn’t, go back to the book, learn more things to implement. I find this practicing hugely beneficial. I usually read a new book only if I get a few recommendations from people I respect, the smarter the people around you, you hear about better books and blogs! I also use Hacker News and my Twitter feed to find interesting things to read.
I find Lean Startup a meta discipline of how to make high impacting decisions in various startup stages. There is also a community and a movement around it, providing a lot of learning material and examples from experienced entrepreneurs. Lean Startup forces you to be constantly aware of your assumptions and learning rate, something that I find is a spiritual action as well, and applicable in many places in life, not only in startups.
Hope this was interesting, would love to hear other people’s take on this.