How every decision you make is wrong

And why your company can still succeed because of it

Aytekin Tank
Jun 14, 2018 · 6 min read
Originally published on JOTFORM.COM

“This is never going to be right.”

As the words came out of my mouth, I regretted them almost instantly.

How to make the right decisions: all models are wrong

Remembering British statistician George Box’s famous line from 1976:

“All models are wrong, but some are useful.”

As James Clear analysed this concept further, even the best models of the world are imperfect and this insight is crucial if we want to learn how to make decisions and take action on a daily basis,

“… George Box’s point was that we should focus more on whether something can be applied to everyday life in a useful manner rather than debating endlessly if an answer is correct in all cases.”

We are all aware of the cliched, “put it on a poster” idea about failure and success: The ‘if you don’t try, you won’t succeed’ way of thinking.

The real problem is that the prospect of getting it right is so daunting that we decide doing nothing is better.

So today, with so many companies rapidly developing new products seemingly every day, we don’t fear failure — we fear mediocrity. We fear not getting it done perfectly.

While we’re convincing ourselves that no one would want something that isn’t absolutely perfect, there are tons of products succeeding out there that are far from it.

Drew Houston, founder of Dropbox, had an SAT prep company that he failed to get into a startup accelerator.

Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder of LinkedIn, first created an online dating and social network site that the world just wasn’t ready for.

Melanie Perkins, Co-Founder of Canva, received over 100 NOs for her graphic design platform before getting funded.

Now that Dropbox has launched its IPO, LinkedIn has 546 million users, and Canva has become Australia’s latest unicorn, people seem to have forgotten about those prior failures.

After the first go-around, they knew more for next time. Something perfectionism will never allow.

If I halted all progress on JotForm every time it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, we wouldn’t have discovered and built a lot of things that we now love.

Why perfectionism is bad for business

Perfectionism can be pretty toxic for your business.

Building the ‘screw it’ attitude

This easily sounds like a BS “lifehack” or one of those success shortcuts the productivity gurus love to recommend, but if you still find that perfectionism is stunting your new ideas, taking the ‘screw it’ attitude can actually help.

“If you’re not embarrassed by your version one release, you released it too late.” Reid Hoffman

This sentiment has been echoed around the world by successful people, and yet we still find it so difficult to follow.

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Aytekin Tank

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The Startup

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Aytekin Tank

Written by

Founder at || (contact:

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +793K followers.

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