Strategy Quote of the Day

Saturday, July 21st, 2018

“Decisions are bets on the future, and they aren’t right or wrong based on whether they turn out well on any particular iteration. An unwanted result doesn’t make our decision wrong if we thought about the alternatives and probabilities in advance and allocated our resources accordingly… When we think probabilistically, we are less likely to use adverse results alone as proof that we made a decision error, because we recognize the possibility that the decision might have been good but luck and/or incomplete information intervened.”

– Annie Duke

All Strategy Quotes

“Decisions are bets on the future, and they aren’t right or wrong based on whether they turn out well on any particular iteration. An unwanted result doesn’t make our decision wrong if we thought about the alternatives and probabilities in advance and allocated our resources accordingly… When we think probabilistically, we are less likely to use adverse results alone as proof that we made a decision error, because we recognize the possibility that the decision might have been good but luck and/or incomplete information intervened.”

– Annie Duke

“Thoroughly conscious ignorance is the prelude to every real advance in science.”

– Clerk Maxwell

 

“Using an iterative algorithm to solve a problem is a bit like following a road, possibly long and difficult. With each iteration, you have a method that takes you a single step closer. To ensure that you move forward, you need to have a measure of progress telling you how far you are either from your starting location or from your destination.
You cannot expect to know exactly where the algorithm will go. On the other hand, you do not want to have to know how to handle every ditch and dead end in the world. As you travel, worry about one step at a time.
You must know how to get onto the road from any start location. From every place along the road, you must know what actions you will take in order to step forward. Finally, you must reach your destination in a reasonable amount of time.”

– Jeff Edmunds

 

 

“A good deal of corporate planning is like a ritual rain dance. It has no effect on the weather that follows, but those who engage in it think that it does.”

– Brian Quinn

“The values of the founder trickle down in the product. As a founder of a company, you need to know what your values are and that they go across the board on every single detail of your product.”

– Tina Eisenberg

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

– Peter Drucker

“We are discouraged from saying I don’t know or I’m not sure. We regard those expressions as vague, unhelpful, and even evasive. But getting comfortable with I’m not sure is a vital step to being a better decision-maker. We have to make peace with not knowing… I don’t know is not a failure but a necessary step toward enlightenment.”

– Annie Duke

“Over twenty years of research has consistently shown that people who imagine obstacles in the way of reaching their goals are more likely to achieve success, we call this process mental contrasting.”

– Gabriele Oettingen

“For change to occur, a double requirement is imposed on a new thing. It must fit the organism’s internal demands for coherence and it must fit the external requirements of environment.”

– Gregory Bateson

“The sad reality is that despite all the talk about satisfying customer needs, there is very little understanding of what characteristics a customer need statement should possess… As amazing as it sounds, the truth is companies routinely try to satisfy customers’ needs without a clear definition of what a need even is.”

– Anthony W. Ulwick

 

“When we deliberate, it is about means, not ends.”

– Aristotle

“Confusion between explanation and prediction afflicts almost the entire discipline of strategy… Strategists’ theories are 100% accurate in hindsight. Case study after case study shows that XYZ Corporation, for example, succeeded because it had established a sustainable competitive advantage (or did whatever it is that the strategist insists is the right thing to do)…Yet, when casting their theories into the future, the strategists as a group perform abysmally.”

– Matthew Stewart

“The speed of speech is faster than that of thought.”

– Andre Breton

“Whoever has the best algorithms and the most data wins. A new type of network effect takes hold: Whoever has the most customers accumulates the most data, learns the best models, wins the most new customers, and so on in a virtuous cycle.”

– Pedro Domingos

“It has often been said that a person does not really understand something until after teaching it to someone else. Actually, a person does not really understand something until after teaching it to a computer, i.e., expressing it as an algorithm. An attempt to formalize things as algorithms leads to a much deeper understanding than if we simply try to comprehend things in the traditional way.”

– Donald Knuth

“People have difficulty assessing their chances of success in competitive and market-entry decisions, but simulating such situations leads to improved assessments and decisions.”

– Hogarth & Soyer

“To value your customer, you need to spend some time understanding the interactions they have with your service, and that means two things. First, viewing your service through the customers’ eyes. Second, designing in such a way that customers receive consistent experiences over time that they consider valuable.”

– Simon Clatworthy

“We would be better served as communicators and decision-makers if we thought less about whether we are confident in our beliefs and more about how confident we are. Instead of thinking of confidence as all-or-nothing (i.e. I’m confident or I’m not confident), our expression of our confidence would then capture all the shades of grey in between.”

– Annie Duke

“The truth is, the science of Nature has already been too long made only a work of the brain and the fancy. It is now high time that it should return to the plainness and soundness of observations on material and obvious things.”

— Robert Hooke

“Making better decisions starts with understanding this: uncertainty can work a lot of mischief.”

– Annie Duke