Welcome to my thoughts!

This is a space to place thoughts that would look too out of place on the regular blog. Unfinished thoughts, initial takes, and personal posts are placed here.

Decision Reversibility

You can always make fast decisions if decisions are reversible. Don’t get caught up in analysis paralysis when you could have committed and reverted in the same amount of time.

TJ Palanca


December 1, 2021

Ensure that analysis effort leads to better or faster decisions

One thing I always encourage data people to do is to determine exactly how analysis effort will lead to a better or faster decision:

  • One trick can be as simple as plotting out (with your stakeholder) what action would be taken as a result of the analysis.
  • Another is thinking about decision reversibility, especially in startups where your analysis bandwidth is necessarily limited and precious.

Highly reversible decisions don’t require a lot of pre-action analysis

The amount of time spent doing pre-decision data analysis on a decision should be inversely proportional to the reversibility of that decision. It’s more beneficial to do an analysis for launching a new market (very hard to “unlaunch” a market”) than changing copy of a website (just throw some ideas and see what sticks using some experimenation).

I find that I save people a lot of time on highly reversible decisions by just telling them to launch and iterate instead of spending tons of time digging into event logs and user behavior, and as a bonus, I get to spend my analysis bandwidth on less reversible, and therefore more consequential, decisions.