Become wiser

Jason Fried on Decisions

"A company is essentially two things: a group of people and a collection of decisions. How those people make these decisions is the art of running a business.

Here are some of the things we think about at 37signals when faced with a decision. Some of these we say out loud, some we think quietly. Consider this a collection of tools in a tool chest — you only grab for the ones you need when you need them. Most stay in the box most of the time."


Why are we deciding anything at all? Does a decision actually need to be made here?

next email: 2024-05-09


Is the right person making this decision? Not the right role, but the right person with the right information, context, and insight? Who’s merely chiming in?

next email: 2024-04-25


If we remove the immediate impact, how do we think we’ll feel about this decision a year from now?

next email: 2024-05-16


Why hasn’t this decision been made already? Why didn’t we decide before?

next email: 2024-05-05


What’s taking so long to make this decision? Why are we hesitating? What does that reveal?

next email: 2024-04-26


Why would someone else make a different decision? What’s the other side — or two or three — look like?

next email: 2024-05-09


Can we make this decision smaller? Can we take one big decision and turn it into three smaller ones?

next email: 2024-05-12


How easily can we reverse the decision?

next email: 2024-04-27


What was our first instinct on this decision? Are we now just walking around in circles trying to justify that gut reaction with data?

next email: 2024-04-27


What would happen if we just didn’t make the decision?

next email: 2024-04-25


What happened the last time we made a decision like this?

next email: 2024-04-28


What are we looking forward to after the decision is made? What are we afraid of?

next email: 2024-05-17


How can we make this decision easier? What parts can we eliminate from consideration?

next email: 2024-04-22


Is there even a wrong decision?

next email: 2024-05-01


Do we anticipate making a different decision if we wait until tomorrow morning to make it?

next email: 2024-05-02


Is any decision better than no decision, or is no decision better than any decision?

next email: 2024-04-25


What other decisions will be impacted by this decision?

next email: 2024-04-28


Will this decision eliminate the need to make other decisions, or will it create the necessity to make even more decisions?

next email: 2024-05-19


What missing information would lead to making a different decision?

next email: 2024-05-17


Will this decision make more work for people that don’t have extra time for that work? Or will it eliminate work?

next email: 2024-05-03


Could this decision be a good one for someone else to practice making?

next email: 2024-04-27


When do we have to decide?

next email: 2024-05-11


Will this be a one-and-done decision, or will this be a repeating decision?

next email: 2024-05-19


Is anyone outside the company depending on this, or is this a decision of our own making?

next email: 2024-04-20


How does this decision impact customers vs. impact us?

next email: 2024-05-07


Is this primarily a data-based decision, or an intuition, gut-based decision?

next email: 2024-05-14


Would another opinion help or hinder?

next email: 2024-05-12


If we were forced to make a decision right this second, what would it be?

next email: 2024-05-14


Where do we think we’d be today if we made this decision 90 days ago?

next email: 2024-05-06


Is there anything in this decision we’d regret if we didn’t take X, Y, or Z into consideration?

next email: 2024-05-02


Do you even care which way this goes? If not, why are you involved?

next email: 2024-04-23


When and how will we know whether the decision was the right one, or if it even mattered?

next email: 2024-04-22


When the consequences of our decision appear, are they likely to be visible with the naked eye or do they require a microscope to detect? If the latter, does it even matter?

next email: 2024-05-02


What principles are we bending if we make this decision?

next email: 2024-05-11


Are we asking multiple people to make a decision that one person should be making?

next email: 2024-05-05


Is the return on effort worth it?

next email: 2024-05-09


What gets easier if we make this decision? What gets harder? Will easier remain easier in the long term, or is it short-term easy but long-term hard? And vice versa.

next email: 2024-05-07


In the end, is this about money?

next email: 2024-05-02

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