Too Fast?

I took various forms of martial arts for many years and one of my favorites was Prepare, which is actually more of a self-defense system than a martial arts. It was all about "adrenal stress training" and learning how to react quickly and with full force against heavily armored instructors. After each "fight," we were trained to look around and assess the situation so not to miss a potential attacker behind us.

This "tunnel vision" exists outside of that world too. 

Everything moves so quickly today and making decisions quickly, iterating and pivoting quickly, reacting quickly, etcetra are all considered good traits for entrepreneurs and business people to have. But is there such a thing as too fast?

Let's take a for instance. You have an idea, you develop an MVP (minimal viable product), you test it and get feedback. Before rushing to incorporate the feedback, pause and evaluate whether you have a wide and random enough sampling of testers and data to be conclusive. The alternative—analysis paralysis—is not preferable and should be avoided, but I worry that perhaps we're so focused on being first and fastest, that we may actually miss some of the signals. 

And then there's all the "failing fast" we read about (and yes, I too have written about). Again, how fast is too fast? If you don't take the time to evaluate and learn from your failures, there is no point to them.

Unless your gut is telling you something is right and has to happen now, I'd stop, think, and assess. Amy Wilkinson, in The Creator's Code, refers to this as the "Ooda" Loop: Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.

Since there really is no "right" speed for acting or failing, the focus should be on the speed of the assessing and reacting. If you are always observing and orienting, you can decide and act far more quickly than if you'd have to start the loop at the eleventh hour. This is definitely an advantage and lucky for us, one that can be learned.

What is your inclination? Do you move too fast or too slow and how do you aim to balance it out?