I had great time with AG yesterday (I let not to disclose the name before checking) at Red Rock in Mountain View. It was such an inspiring talk. Among them, there is a story about decision making.
He said once, a successful entrepreneur Ben told him about how he made a decision. At that time, he was running a company and are going to raise another round of financing. They turned out to raise 40 million USD at 160 million valuation. Actually, based on the 5 people team, they would have only need to raise 5 million. Why so much!? The answer was quite wise and insightful:
<blockquote>I know psychology. I know down the road, there is a possibility that Google or others may give me an offer to acquire the company for 50 million USD. I would come to a point to make a decision whether to sell it and get 25M USD and do whatever I want to do, or keep doing what I am doing. I know it will be a hard decision, and I believe it is possible to sell when the check is on the table. To say “build it no matter how big the temptation is” is easy, but I know I won’t be able to resist. So my solution is to get rid of the possibility to make that decision. With 40M raise, there is no way to sell it at 50M.</blockquote>
That is the founding principle. Many times, it is easy to say something that sounds correct, but when the decision is there, it is hard to balance. But to make sure there is no such a chance to make the decision is one clever way to enforce basic value system.
In the US constitution, there are some strong worded principles. They cannot foresee the future, but they already eliminate the decision whether black and the white should be equal or not. That is another example to get rid of the gray area at the very beginning.
I went to sleep at 2:30 AM last night, and wake up at 6:00 AM. “Eliminate the decision making point” was the first sentence come to me. I want to wake up but I know myself than anyone else, and I know if I defer the decision to 5 minutes later, my decision will be sleep for another one hour. So I used what I learnt. I get off bed immediately, and had a bath. After that, the decision to wake up or not after 5 minutes is gone. Well. That is the reason I am so sleepy now.
What is your way to eliminate the future decision?