December 11, 2016

Them’s the facts


You can go a long way on assumptions. Sometimes it’s the only way. A ghost-number sat in the middle of a spreadsheet lets you think and play and understand, test and prod and look for levers – all before you manage to trap reality and push it into place. A working hypothesis – that the customer will buy, the team member will be found, the partner will sign – lets you get on with it, preparing the ground and putting all the pieces in place. Ready.

They’re certainly a lot more useful than a shrug, a blank stare, and a frozen state.

Then there’s reality.

The ghost was misleadingly good or bad. The customer bought ten times as much, the team member was slow to arrive, the partner said No.

No point shouting at the model. Reality trumps assumption.

Them’s the facts.

Skippy strategy: Think with assumptions, deal with reality.