Once a project’s mission statement is defined, it becomes easy to determine when to stop further iterations.
Below are the listed of statements I periodically revisit when pursuing GetData.IO’s mission to help people make good decisions by making data gathering simple and affordable.
Hypothesis 1: People no longer need make good decisions.
Hypothesis 2: People no longer need data to make good decisions.
Hypothesis 3: People no longer find it hard to get data.
Hypothesis 4: We have exhausted all known approaches to lower the cost of data gathering to an affordable range.
Hypothesis 5: We have exhausted all viable approaches to reach people who need to make good decisions.
Hypothesis 1 and 2 are existential questions, while hypothesis 3 focuses on substitute availability. These are out of our control. The only thing we could do is monitor for changes.
Hypothesis 4 and 5 focuses on economic feasibility. These we will fully focus our efforts on. Once we eliminate all none viable options, whatever remains will be the limitations we must accept and live with.
It is useful to note the lack of any mention on funding. The underlying assumption is that every successful iteration necessarily unlocks resources from the environment which is then fed back to further the compounding process. The discipline is to minimize wastage.
Relying on external funding is like utilizing margins during day trading. While earnings get amplified, failures tend to be really spectacular. One additional drawback is that they tend to mask critical flaws in the short run leading to the commonly observed greater fool phenomena in the financial markets.