What’s the best way to make tough decisions?

Sam Gerstenzang (Director of Product at Imgur)
Sam Gerstenzang – Seven things I learned in venture

The best way to become quickly knowledgeable is to find the right people and talk to them. There is no template for success, and no one knows what works. Big things growing really fast get really big, really fast. There is a huge advantage to being right early on.

What’s the best way to handle conflicting advice?

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
Startup Playbook

You will get a lot of conflicting advice, both because there are multiple ways to do things and because there’s a lot of bad advice out there. Great founders listen to all of the advice and then quickly make their own decisions.

What’s the best way to make tough decisions?

Sam Gerstenzang (Director of Product at Imgur)
Sam Gerstenzang – Seven things I learned in venture

The best way to become quickly knowledgeable is to find the right people and talk to them. There is no template for success, and no one knows what works. Big things growing really fast get really big, really fast. There is a huge advantage to being right early on.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Sunk Costs – AVC

Sunk Costs are time and money (and other resources) you have already spent on a project, investment, or some other effort. They have been sunk into the effort and most likely you cannot get them back.
The important thing about sunk costs is when it comes time to make a decision about the project or investment, you should NOT factor in the sunk costs in that decision. You should treat them as gone already and make the decision based on what is in… (read more)

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Satisficing – AVC

Satisficing is a decision-making strategy or cognitive heuristic that entails searching through the available alternatives until an acceptability threshold is met.This is contrasted with optimal decision making, an approach that specifically attempts to find the best alternative available. I love the concept of satificing instead of optimizing. It is something I have been trying to adopt (changing behavior is hard) for close to twenty years now w… (read more)

Mike Maples Jr (Managing Partner @ FLOODGATE)
Ron Conway, Mike Maples Jr. – Angel Investing Revealed by Stanford eCorner | Free Listening on SoundCloud

The way I look at it, most decisions are either 50-50 or obvious and if its 49-51 it almost doesn’t almost doesn’t matter what you pick. Just pick one and execute it with brutal precision and you’ll be ok. When I flip a coin and it comes up heads and I wish it came up tails, I just turn it over and what tails says. If it comes up heads and I say ‘Oh I knew it all along I wanted it to be heads”, then I do what heads says. It’s surprising how you a… (read more)

Ben Erez (Product at Breeze)
22 Mistakes I Made as a First Time Founder — Viabilify

[Follow your gut. ] At one point during the first few weeks of starting our company, I had a very strong gut feeling to change the way we were going to tackle the problem we saw (aka in tech lingo a “pivot”). But the three of us weren’t on the same page and after a couple hours of arguing back and forth, we came together as a team and decided that we would not go in the direction in which I was pushing. In hindsight, I wish I stood my ground mor… (read more)

Dharmesh Shah (Co-founder and CTO of HubSpot)
Happy Birthday HubSpot! 9 Lessons From Our First 9 Years

An imperfect decision today is better than a perfect decision some day.

Amir Elaguizy (CEO Cratejoy, YC Alumni)
58 things I learned at YC – Giftshop Scientist

There is no shortcut around learning, you just have to learn it. Everything is harder than it looks

David Frankel (Managing Partner at Founder Collective)
7 Deadly Distractions That Can Kill Your Business | Inc.com

Whenever a company strays from its core market, message or mission, the results can be devastating, particularly for small companies and startups. common causes… Waning confidence in current market position or pricing, overreaction to existing competitors or new, “hot” entrants in the market, sudden stagnation or rapid decline in growth, strategic partnerships with no clear metrics for success, pressure from investors or board members to change… (read more)

What’s the best way to handle conflicting advice?

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
Startup Playbook

You will get a lot of conflicting advice, both because there are multiple ways to do things and because there’s a lot of bad advice out there. Great founders listen to all of the advice and then quickly make their own decisions.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
How to stop VCs’ best practices becoming damaging cookie-cutter solutions | A Founder’s Notebook

It’s fine to take from what’s working elsewhere, but you have to filter and adapt it to your own unique DNA.

Amir Elaguizy (CEO Cratejoy, YC Alumni)
58 things I learned at YC – Giftshop Scientist

You will get conflicting advice from partners occasionally. It’s then on you to be smart.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
The Bain Capital Files – AVC

Everything we publish to our investors should be written as if it will someday be published in Gawker. And every action we take in structuring our business, our relationships with our investors, and our relationships with the entrepreneurs we back should be conducted as if it will someday be published in Gawker. I think this policy will be good for us and others who choose to adopt it.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
A Founder’s Notebook – AVC

Anyway, if you are a founder and like reading advice from around the web on management, product, and strategy, I recommend A Founder’s Notebook. It’s really well done. https://davidjaxon.wordpress.com/

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Startup Management – AVC

AVC regular William Mougayar is building an education oriented community for entrepreneurs called Startup Management. He soft launched it in the past week. The idea, as I understand it, is to aggregate and tag blog posts about startup management from all around the web and curate them into a community site focused on educating entrepreneurs on how to be better leaders and managers of their companies

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
MBA Mondays: Turning Your Team – AVC

Get some mentors, advisors, and board members who have lived through this before. And listen to them about this. You may not want to listen to them too much about product and market stuff. Maybe you understand that better than they do. But when it comes to scaling a management team, those who have had to do it before will generally be right about the issues you are facing with your team. So their advice and counsel is worth a lot and you should p… (read more)

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Advice And Money – AVC

It is also true that a founder might have dozens of investors in their company and getting advice from dozens of people all the time is overwhelming. So founders need to figure out which investors to focus on and that doesn’t always mean the ones who wrote the biggest checks.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
The Law Of Unintended Consequences – AVC

One of the great things about getting older is you see things over and over again and you start to understand. That’s called wisdom I guess. One thing I have seen over and over is that the best of intentions often lead to unintended consequences that are exactly the opposite of what the good intentioned people wanted to happen. I like to call that the “law of unintended consequences” and it goes like this:
Whatever it is that you intend to do, y… (read more)

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Mentor/Investor Whiplash – AVC

You cannot meet with a potential investor (me included) or mentor/advisor without getting a lot of feedback about your business. If you take many of those meetings a week, then you are going to get pushed and pulled in lots of different directions and it will cause confusion, wasted time and energy, and even a loss of confidence in what you set out to do.
You cannot let that happen to you. You are the domain expert on your business. You have spe… (read more)

John Greathouse (Managing Director @ Rincon Venture Partners)
John Greathouse | Hands-on startup advice for emerging entrepreneurs

You should always assess the veracity of any third-party advice that might have far-reaching implications (be it legal, accounting, personnel, tax or otherwise) with your trusted professional of choice.

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
Here is How to Make Sense of Conflicting Startup Advice | Bothsides of the Table

Saying not to take others advice is itself terrible advice. Take more advice. Mix people’s views into a cup. Stir them around. Think about the motives or experiences of those offering advice. Think about whom you trust based on past advice. Think about your own situation and overlay it against the frameworks that others offer.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Mentor/Investor Whiplash – AVC

1) Create a spreadsheet and list each meeting and the feedback you got in it. List who gave it to you and what they said. If you can categorize the feedback easily, do that. A column for each category of feedback might be good. 2) Apply the “investor discount” to feedback you get from investors. Advisors/mentors who have no agenda are a purer form of advice. 3) Listen to customers, users, and the market. Advisors, mentors, and investors are not t… (read more)

Reid Hoffman (Partner & Co-Founder at Greylock Partners)
LinkedIn’s Series B Pitch to Greylock: Pitch Advice for Entrepreneurs

General rules sometimes have important exceptions which can be tremendously valuable. That’s true in business strategy, entrepreneurship, and even pitch advice.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
VCs aren’t product managers | A Founder’s Notebook

You need to recognize the dividing line between [your] core competencies and the areas in which you have opinions but no competitive advantage