Regret Minimization Framework

How are you wired?
Mar | 10 | 2012

From a recent Economist piece on Jeff Bezos:

In the 1990s he hesitated to leave a good job in the world of finance to set up Amazon after a colleague he respected advised him against it. But Mr Bezos applied what he calls a “regret minimisation framework”, imagining whether, as an 80-year-old looking back, he would regret the decision not to strike out on his own. He concluded that he would, and with encouragement from his wife he took the plunge as an entrepreneur. They moved from New York to Seattle and he founded the company, in time-honoured fashion for American technology start-ups, in his garage.

In a word, wow.

For the aspiring author, it’s extremely unlikely that his or her first book will blow up. Ditto a second, or tenth. The odds just aren’t terribly good. But here’s the rub: Not writing, not publishing guarantees that outcome.

In the end, it all comes down to your risk tolerance and what you want out of life.

Jeff Bezos would have been extremely successful if he had remained at his hedge fund crunching numbers. Instead, he became an icon and legendary leader by eschewing a safe job and starting He concluded that, at least for him, the costs of inaction were greater than the costs of action.

And he was ultimately right.

No one can determine your risk tolerance except you–and there’s always a huge luck component in any creative endeavor. But fortune favors the bold.

Watch this video on how he arrived at the decision to launch

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