How to make decisions? Are there wrong decisions? Why do innovation programs fail? What’s going on in Silicon Valley? The anniversary treasure comes with twice as many nuggets as usual. There are regular guests and some premieres. I also take a look back at some of the older issues. I’ve also thought up two actions for even more impulses. More at the end of this treasure.
Entrepreneurship for me is inextricably linked to the topic of decision making. Unfortunately, most of us have never really learned how to make decisions. There was neither a subject of decision making in school, nor a corresponding offer in the company’s continuing education program. Fortunately, Susan Shain in Nugget #1 offers a handful of advice.
“Good is good enough!” I learned to appreciate this in almost 15 years working for an American corporate. A pinch of pragmatism and “just do it” mentality would often do us Germans good.
When it comes to outsourcing decisions, I am somewhat mixed. This could easily be misunderstood as delegating upwards. I like to take responsibility for my own decisions. However, it makes sense to only burden your mental capacities with important decisions.
The 90% rule was new for me in this form. As I sufferer of FOMO (Fear of missing out) it is an extremely valuable tip, which will surely be used more often from now on.
(6 min, text, English)
Nugget #2 comes from a regular contributor to the treasure chest. Already five times there were valuable and entertaining articles from Förster and Kreuz, e.g. in Treasure 74 on my favorite topic innovation. Today, however, decisions are at stake. Often we do not make a decision because we are afraid. Or we choose the safe option, although the other option would actually be better for us. We are simply afraid of the door slamming shut. Once you get to it, you don’t come back. Most decisions also have a handle on the other side. So you don’t have much to lose when you take that step. This reminds me of the principle of the affordable loss of Effectuation. Small tip still from my everyday life. Sometimes I put a shoe between my apartment door and frame. It can’t close like this. The next time you are faced with a decision with a closing door, think about which “shoe” you could put in between. (5 min, text, German)
Tijen Onaran has also been found several times in treasures. For the first time by the way in treasure 8, at that time still exclusively in English. Nugget #3 about decisions is an episode from her podcast “How to Hack”. The guest was Philip Meissner, who wrote the book “Entscheiden ist einfach”. I especially like his statement “There are no wrong decisions”. After all, you make decisions to the best of your knowledge. But especially in complex situations, there isn’t usually much knowledge available. If you acquire new knowledge after a decision, you can make a new decision at any time. Or you go back to the door you came through. How that works you know since Nugget #2.
I find the first step in Philip Meissner’s outlined decision-making process worth mentioning. What is the problem I am solving? If I don’t investigate the root cause, I might make an unnecessary decision. Here the 5-Why method can help. (32 min, audio, German)
Of course the anniversary treasure should not miss the topic of innovation. Almost every company is currently running an innovation programme. Why do most of them fail? Greg Satell writes about it in Nugget #4. The question “Which problem can I solve?” also applies here. A separate innovation unit is often set up because innovation does not function properly in the company. However, one should first find out why innovation does not work properly. Otherwise, the problem areas remain in the new unit.
“Love the problem, not the solution.” This also applies to products and services that are created in an innovation unit. Generating ideas is easy. At the end of the day, however, these should generate business and a customer problem must be solved. If the customer problems to be solved lie far outside the main business, a separate innovation unit can make sense. The best example of this is Google X, whose head Astro Teller I presented in treasure 85.
(5 min, text, English)
Innovation does not only have to take place in the company. You can learn more in Nugget #5, an episode of the hy podcast with Christoph Keese. Guest is Marco Marinucci, who heads the Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) branch of the German car manufacturer Hella. In the interview he opens the bonnet of Hella Ventures and describes how investment decisions are made and in which topics investments are made. But first you have to create the structures to be able to act as a venture capitalist. It is not enough to do pure start-up scouting, because you can only get the really interesting start-ups as an investor. This proves my hypothesis that scouting, partnering and investing cannot be viewed completely in isolation. I would also have been interested in the ecosystems in which Hella Ventures is active outside Silicon Valley. If someone of my readers has experience on the subject, I would be happy to exchange ideas. (30 min, audio, German)
Silicon Valley is also the home of Olga V. Mack. The Blockchain expert and TEDx speaker, contributes to the anniversary treasure with her talk on Smart Contracts as Nugget #6. Some nuggets in the past treasure chests were TED Talks, e.g. in the last anniversary edition 50. The topic blockchain so far mainly catched attention by the crypto currency Bitcoin attention and even reached hype status. In my opinion, the underlying technology will significantly change the way we do business. Smart Contracts have the potential to simplify purchasing, distribution and logistics. Based on the usecases described by Olga Mack, you can think of thousands of examples for the business world. (18 min, video, English)
On the occasion of the hundredth treasure I have thought about how I can offer you even more impulses in the future. First of all I would like to send an extra nugget to the subscribers of my newsletter “Flaschenpost” during the week. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do it here quickly . I would also like to experiment with new communication channels. I will be working on a CompanyPirate Alexa-Skill for the next weeks. If you are interested in trying it out or maybe have experience with voice assistants, please contact me .