Every creative and entrepreneurial venture starts with an idea. If you’re honest, the idea is almost always more of a question. Or many questions.

In order to take action, you’ve got to make guesses about the answers. We call those assumptions. Some of your assumptions will be spot on, others will be wildly off. The most important thing you can do in the early days is not try to succeed as fast as possible, but try to answer the most important questions as fast as possible. To replace assumptions with data. The faster you can make that transition and start to build around data over delusion, the better off you’ll be. And the more likely your success becomes. But here’s the funny thing about data. Some of it is hard, meaning it’s quantifiable. You can plug it into a spreadsheet. But some of it is soft, really soft. No way to plug stomach spins or intuitive hits into Excel. And because we like to be able to point to “why” we make decisions, especially decisions we might be judged for making down the road, we often ignore those soft data points. Because they don’t provide good cover. Don’t. Do. This. Two reasons. One. Hard-data lies. It’s always old, incomplete or fake. The reason the S.E.C requires every statement about a company’s future to include some variation of “past performance does not imply future results” is because it’s true. It doesn’t. People change, times change, circumstances change. The container of variables that made past outcomes possible will never be the same…….

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