When it comes down to analyzing something or making a decision, the reality is there has to be one thing that you’re optimizing for more than everything else.
If you were buying a business, you can really only ever optimize for 3 things primarily: 1) Effort, 2) Money, and 3) Risk. If you were buying a car, you may only optimize for things like: 1) Cost, 2) Performance, 3) Ego / Status, and 4) Looks. A car with low maintenance would lower your cost. And a car with a Lexus emblem might help with your Ego. And so on.
There’s extra bonuses that arrive for a product when it introduces a new layer of optimization. For example if you care about saving the environment, you may be interested in that and buy a ugly, expensive, low status car like a Prius so you can save the environment. Smart phones did the same thing when people no longer searched for the typical aspects of a phone like cord range and instead, “speed” for ability to play games.
Adding a layer for a customer to optimize for is what creates disrupting businesses. – Truth Cake
In order to make better decisions, you need to list out all the primary characteristics that are common in all the choices. Once you have those laid out, things become easier. Once you determine which of those aspects holds the most importance to you, making a decision becomes even easier.
That’s why when ‘save the environment’ is the most important thing to someone, and there’s a car that does that very well, it has an immediate pile of customers that want that car because they know that’s the most important thing b/c no other car even has that attribute.
Know the attributes of what you’re trying to decide between. It’s often fewer than you think.
Know which attribute is the most important.
Optimize for that most important aspect.
What hard decision have you had to make between 2 similar seeming things that became obvious on the best choice when you knew yourself well enough to know precisely what you cared about most?