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Founder Simulations

Hsu Ken Ooi
Hsu Ken Ooi
1 min read

Great founders have this uncanny ability to run highly accurate, localized simulations about their business in their heads. What's surprising is none of them could do this when they started.

What's the benefit of being able to mentally run accurate simulations? You can predict the future. If you want to grow by 2x in the next month, you can come up with ideas on how to do it, run it through your mental simulator and know what will and won't work.

Nobody starts with this ability. In the beginning, everyone's mental simulator is laughably bad. Not only is it often wrong, it often doesn't yield a result at all. Should I do X? No idea.

A primary difference between good, okay and bad founders is how quickly they are able to improve their mental simulators.

  • Bad founders don't realize there's something to improve
  • Okay founders struggle to improve
  • Great founders are effective at improving

The trick is self-directed learning. A good founder will take a step back, analyse the mental model the simulator is built on, diagnose what they need to learn then devise and execute on a plan to learn those things.

Imagine a founder doing sales but is unable to close a customer.

An okay founder will try random things (different prices, customers, etc.) hoping they stumble into a solution. Maybe they get lucky but it's wasteful and there's no guarantee they'll get lucky next time.

A great founder will identify the potential causes, prioritize those they think are most likely then devise a plan to systematically test. There's no luck involved, it's an inevitable march to a solution.

Because the good founder is systematically testing, they learn more, faster. Therefore their mental model is improving faster and so is the accuracy of their mental simulator.

At some point, you too can evaluate the 14,600,005 possible outcomes to find the 1 way to beat Thanos.

Hsu Ken Ooi