Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

When it comes to building a product, you are always making decisions.

  • What are you building now?
  • What are you building next?
  • What are you not going to build?

There is no secret way to make to make it easier but there are some techniques that can help.

The most important thing to realize is that when you are gathering data, you are completely bias. You are going to look for data to help support your cause whether you realize it or not. Even when you run into data that points to a contrary decision, you are more than likely to ignore it.

From the book Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath,

Researchers have found this result again and again. When people have the opportunity to collect information from the world, they are more likely to select information that supports their preexisting attitudes, beliefs, and actions.

and to support the point,

In reviewing more than 91 studies of over 8,000 participants, the researchers concluded that we are more than twice as likely to favor confirming information than disconfirming information. (So, scientifically speaking, you’d probably read twice as many four-star reviews as two-star reviews.

Your best bet is to realize that this is human nature and to look for ways to counter it. The Heath brothers have put together several techniques to help – widening your options, reality testing, attaining distance, and preparing to be wrong, You can find a nice summary here (email reg required).