We had one of our many (non-stop) email conversations among the USV crew last week about a situation in our portfolio where nobody could agree on something. I lamented that “VCs are such optimizers.” It takes one to know one you see.
Nick Grossman replied that he prefers satisficing to optimizing. I had never heard that term. So Nick sent me to Wikipedia which says:
Satisficing is a decision-making strategy or cognitive heuristic that entails searching through the available alternatives until an acceptability threshold is met. This is contrasted with optimal decision making, an approach that specifically attempts to find the best alternative available. The term satisficing, a portmanteau of satisfy and suffice, was introduced by Herbert A. Simon in 1956, although the concept “was first posited in Administrative Behavior, published in 1947.
I love the concept of satificing instead of optimizing. It is something I have been trying to adopt (changing behavior is hard) for close to twenty years now with a good measure of success. But I never had a word for it. I do now. Thanks Nick!