Q:

A:

The truth is that in this day and age, my outlook on the business world comes down to two things. It’s either data or intuition. So there are two possible answers to the question:

1. You use the data. You see the numbers dipping. You see sinking customer acquisition or retention. You see shrinking profit margins. You see added competition in the marketplace. Or any of the other variables that data can show you.

2. You use your intuition. You just taste it in the air. You see the changes coming. You can feel the culture shift in society.

For me, I’ve always been an intuition guy. It was randomly being at a baseball card game and deciding to sell off all my inventory and pivot into toys and comic books. Or standing in the middle of the wine store in the on a Sunday afternoon and feeling that the customers were a little less interested in the California Cabs and Bordeaux of old. They were asking more questions about New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and had a sparkle in their eyes when they talked about Argentinian Malbec.

Or “This whole internet thing is going to be big.”

Or “This whole youtube thing is going to be big.”

Or “This whole Twitter thing is going to be big.”

These are things that come to me. They’re a strength of mine, and exist naturally in my intuition.

On the flip side, there are people who have gone totally “quant.” They looked at all the data, understood the trends, and made their decisions. Either can work, and a combination of the two could be downright deadly (the awesome kind of deadly), but the truth is that it’s just that simple. Those are the two variables that I think you can use to make make decisions on pivoting or doubling down on what you’re already doing.