Ultimate Decision Making Tool

From Get Smarter by Seymour Schulich:

Making a decision is usually boils down to picking between two options; sell or keep, invest or save fund, go for the next degree or get a job, and many more examples. So, you have to answer a YES or NO.

Make two columns; in one column list all the goods and in the other list all the bads about your decision. Depending on your priorities give a weight from 0-10 to each of the listings, 0 for least important and 10 for most important. If the goods outweigh the bads at least twice as much, pick YES, or if the bads outweigh twice as much, pick NO. If it is too close to make a call, don’t make that decision now.


Do I continue with my PhD or not


Have the option to become a professor later on:5

Gives more credibility as a new graduate out of university: 5

Gain a good reference from the university: 4

Can join R & D departments: 2

Add another degree to my resume: 6

Start higher in the company hierarchy:5

Learn about RFIDs + Crypt Algorithms: 3

Goods Total: 30


My last 2 years would be wasted if drop out: 4

Postpone going for MBA degree: 6

Have less time for my startups for another 2 years: 5

Limit areas of business:3

Stay poor for another 2 years: 5

Bads Total: 23

Conclusion: I cannot make up my mind right now and need to take some time!




5 thoughts on “Ultimate Decision Making Tool

  1. So what happens if the pros and cons total are the same but you need to pick an action like
    -Should I buy more stock or it’s risky?
    -Should I get a partner or try to get loans instead?
    -Should I change my job or just stay?
    -Should I continue my grad school or it is just a waste of time?

    Actually this is one of my biggest questions ever. What would an intelligent person if he had to pick one from two almost same options? Would he just toss a coin? Or see a palmist?

  2. Haha. Best Bez post yet. Honesty is the best policy.

    You know. My numbers are like yours, but on very different points and I haven’t started yet. There just don’t seem to be a lot of things that I can say it’s really important to me.

    Also, how would taking some time help you with the decision? The numbers you already have there are unlikely to change. Unless you manage to find a lot of additional/significant points on good or bad, the impasse will stay. And if there are significant points, you would have noticed them already. Perhaps a coin toss would be a better idea.

  3. Well Wilson, I’m just hoping that extra time will help me find those extra points and will weigh the balance either way! And honestly, taking some time to stop and look for other alternatives give you a whole new vision to find other opportunities on your way.

    By the way, I’m toss my coin as so many time that I get the outcome I was biased with! No fair coin for me!

  4. Beibak, what I found here is that writing things down and looking over them will help clear your mind! And maybe you don’t need a wide margin between one option to another to make up your mind. Try it and let me know if it has any benefit!

  5. I like this post. This is something I am struggling with sometime. Let me know if you get to any conclusion.

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