Mental models I use for optimisation: Engines

For most situations, the first and most fundamental question asked has always been: What should I be optimizing for?


This approach is developing an Engine. An Engine is something that works for you to achieve the core essence of a goal akin to an automated flywheel. An Engine should be something that can be activated, or de-activated according to demand.

  • Outbound channels
  • Resources to sustain its operations
  • Processes to sustain its operations
  • How are the different stakeholders in my Engine incentivized?
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A Plan can be irrelevant. Engines are a foundation.

An Engine is a directional foundation for resource gathering. Plans, in contrast, tend to have a binary outcome. You succeed or you fail in the achievement of your goal. A more focused Plan is frequently used and required on top of an Engine.

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Principal @ Saison Capital | Consumer/fintech investing | Angel/Operator | work with smart people on projects:

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