Analysis Paralysis

I came across a nice article on analysis paralysis today. It is highly apropos since I’ve been thinking about two startups that I had become emotionally invested in.

The management team of the former is mildly prone to overanalyzing.  Any major decision always seems to take longer than they should.

The management team of the other subscribes to the philosophy of quick action at almost any cost.  Decisions were made when issues come up, even if there was not enough supporting data to make an informed decision.

The first one recently celebrated its 16th anniversary, has been profitable for years, and is growing even in this economy.  The other one went under this year.  It lasted less than 5 years.

Don’t get me wrong – I vehemently condemn analysis paralysis.  I like all the points the author made about thinking BIG and making bold moves.  There are many other factors that resulted in the success of the one company and the demise of the other.  However, as a general observation, most of the startups I know don’t do enough thinking before they act.   Sometimes, this leads to failures that are utterly preventable had somebody decided to stop and think first.

I find that setting and sticking to a deadline to develop a plan of record is a great way to get the right amount of analysis done without getting stuck.   What’s your experience?

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