I’m always looking to grow and an essential part of growth is learning new things. To aid in that process, I’ve have committed to read 20 business books this year. I just completed my third book, “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries. I’ve noticed that different learning themes emerge from time to time. Lately, that theme has revolved around the process of decision making.
IMO, “The Lean Startup” is all about the process of making a good decision. As I see it, there are two components to making a good decision: (1) collecting the best data possible (2) grouping the data in a logical way to discover patterns (3) Making your decision
Small Batch Insights
One great insight I received from Ries was the concept of “small batches” (essentially devising a process where you’re able to collect the best data possible). To summarize, a “small batch” involves creating a product in as small of a batch as possible. For example, if you’re building something in assembly line fashion, the goal is to produce as few of the end products as possible. In doing so, you’re able to pick up on issues quickly without wasting a great deal of time or money. The book gives several examples of companies that used a small batch process to pick up on issues, improve quality, receive feedback and make corrections as quickly as possible.
The second insight I received from the book revolved around intuition. As an INTJ, I rely on my intuition quite a bit to make decisions. I’ve learned that this can actually hurt you and cause you to ignore new data. Ries reveals that our intuition can fool us at times. Using experiments or small batches can help to reveal problems which are often counter-intuitive.