You Need Only 70% of Desired Information to Make Most Decisions

I’m reading Working Backwards. It was written by two former Amazon executives, who detail why Amazon was able to become one of the most valuable companies in the world. The authors share the principles that guide Amazon, how it practices them, and the backstory on how Amazon arrived at them.

One section about why Amazon prefers small teams stuck with me. Jeff Bezos believes that decisions should be made with 70% of the information you’d like to have. Waiting to amass 90% or more means you’re moving too slow. The key to being successful while making decisions with only 70% of potentially available information is being good at course correcting. If you’re moving fast and catching your mistakes quickly, an incorrect decision is less costly than being too slow is. Amazon believes in small teams because they make it easier to catch mistakes and course correct.

I like Jeff’s thoughts. They reinforce that many decisions can be undone, so it’s better to move fast and undo them if you’re wrong than to wait to identify the perfect decision.