What type are you?
How our mental models work is part of the Minimal Introspection, something we tend to overlook, because we have not too much time to introspect.
With practice, perhaps experience, perhaps maturity, perhaps …life, I don’t know, people get better at ‘the heuristics of the world’. Apologies for the pomp. This is, how to avoid using all possible mental algorithms, have all possible data, and look at all possible choices, before making a decision.
The brain can’t compete with a superfast computer in looking at all possibilities. Humans were created unfinished, imperfect, with a great brain, which is great precisely because it’s not completely algorithmic, completely able to explore all avenues, all the time (unless you suffer from some particular mental illness).
Heuristics bypasses ‘all the data’, works with the available and possible, and jumps in. The liability is called risk. Risk of getting it wrong. But the alternative is the full exploration of all data and all possibilities. This is slow death.
So whilst some people may be naturally better than others at taking risks and making imperfect decisions with imperfect data, and win because of that, this can be learn. As always, by practicing.
- A fifth focus group may not give you more insights than the already accumulated by four focus groups, so don’t do it.
- Asking for more and more market research reassurance may give reassurances but not a good market strategy. Go.
- Trial and error today is better than non-error in twenty years.
So, yes, “There are two types of people in the world: those who can extrapolate from incomplete data sets”
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