Hard Questions


  • Skill variety: Is the task monotonous?
  • Task identity: Do you feel ownership (emotionally) in the work you’re doing?
  • Task significance: Does the work you do create meaning or impact?
  • Autonomy: Do you have the freedom to make choices?
  • Feedback: Are you in a place where you can safely and easily get feedback and use it to improve?

From Hackman’s and Oldham’s Job Characteristics Theory (JCT)


  1. Who’s it for?
  2. What’s it for?
  3. What is the worldview of the audience you’re seeking to reach?
  4. What are they afraid of?
  5. What story will you tell? Is it true?
  6. What change are you seeking to make?
  7. How will it change their status?
  8. How will you reach the early adopters and neophiliacs?
  9. Why will they tell their friends?
  10. What will they tell their friends?
  11. Where’s the network effect that will propel this forward?
  12. What asset are you building?
  13. Are you proud of it?

From This is Marketing (Seth Godin)


    1. Substitution
      • “Did the group’s choice of evidence and the focus of their discussion indicate substitution of an easier question for the difficult one they were assigned?”
      • “Did the group neglect an important factor (or appear to give weight to an irrelevant one)?”
    2. Inside view
      • “Did the group adopt the outside view for part of its deliberations and seriously attempt to apply comparative rather than absolute judgment?”
    3. Diversity of views
      • “Is there any reason to suspect that members of the group share biases, which could lead their errors to be correlated? Conversely, can you think of a relevant point of view or expertise that is not represented in this group?
    1. Initial prejudgments
      • “Do (any of) the decision makers stand to gain more from one conclusion than another?”
      • “Was anyone already committed to a conclusion? Is there any reason to suspect prejudice?”
      • “Did dissenters express their views?”
      • “Is there a risk of escalating commitment to a losing course of action?”
    2. Premature closure; excessive coherence
      • “Was there accidental bias in the choice of considerations that were discussed early?”
      • “Were alternatives fully considered, and was evidence that would support them actively sought?”
      • “Were uncomfortable data or opinions suppressed or neglected?”
    1. Availability and salience
      • “Are the participants exaggerating the relevance of an event because of its recency, its dramatic quality, or its personal relevance, even if it is not diagnostic?”
    2. Inattention to quality of information
      • “Did the judgment rely heavily on anecdotes, stories, or analogies? Did the data confirm them?”
    3. Anchoring
      • “Did numbers of uncertain accuracy or relevance play an important role in the final judgment?”
    4. Nonregressive prediction
      • “Did the participants make nonregressive extrapolations, estimates, or forecasts?”
    1. Planning fallacy
      • “When forecasts were used, did people question their sources and validity? Was the outside view used to challenge the forecasts?”
      • “Were confidence intervals used for uncertain numbers? Are they wide enough?”
    2. Loss aversion
      • “Is the risk appetite of the decision makers aligned with that of the organization? Is the decision team overly cautious?”
    3. Present bias
      • “Do the calculations (including the discount rate used) reflect the organization’s balance of short- and long-term priorities?”

From Noise (Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, Cass R. Sunstein)