The power of bad decisions

A bad decision is better than no decision. Yep, I’d rather get it wrong than suffer from inertia. I  will point out that I’m talking here about non life threading concepts, or decisions which could lead to total financial disaster. But generally, most the of the decisions we need to make personally, in business and startups fall into neither of these categories.

The power of a bad decision is the real world feedback they provide. They allows us to cross one of the possibilities off the list. Not doing anything or procrastinating on a choice is the enemy of momentum. And momentum is game winning.

I can recall working in large companies and how often they’d research the daylight out of ideas. I’m certain they did this to avoiding making a call. Managers making sure they remove accountability from themselves… they could use research to save their ass. In this decision time they could’ve tried multiple activities, and instead choose to pontificate on the possibilities. A decision on the other hand would uncover what actually works, save money on research and opportunity cost. The final irony being the majority of these slow corporate decisions still turned out to be wrong.

So in the spirit of new beginnings for a new year – I say embrace bad decisions. Ultimately they will lead us to the right ones.



  1. 1st World Dog · January 1, 2014

    Even being in the research field now, and hence people wanting to research pays the bills, I am surprised how often I come across situations where marketers fear going with their instincts. There is definitely a lot to be said for research helping marketers understand their consumer…. And then there is a point where great marketers go ‘yeah’… I believe this is a good idea and let’s get on with it.

    • Steve Sammartino · January 1, 2014

      That’s exactly my point. Research should be used to illuminate, not support. :-)

  2. A good thought for the new year Steve. Some people just over analyse until it doesn’t seem like a good idea anymore.

    What’s the old saying, Bite off more than you can chew, and chew like crazy.

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