The Time Value of ACTION

The Time Value of Money:

Definition: money available at the present time is worth more than the same amount in the future.

So, simply put, we’d rather have money now than the same value in the future. The same thing holds true for action.  Let me posit an integrated theory then:

The Time Value of Action

Definition: action done NOW is worth more than the same action done in the future.

This blog is a testament to this sort of thinking. The original idea for this blog was that I had wanted to make a book chronicling and documenting the various things I was learning while running a startup. That thought started in the middle of 2011. I had created a table of contents already. I knew it would take a significant amount of time for me to finish the entire endeavor, as I had to go at it chapter by chapter. I was thinking I’d be done by 2013 with the pace I was doing.

Then I stopped and thought, why not do the same idea, but through a blog? This way, I could publish the chapters as I was writing them. So with a small investment, I put up this blog by late November of 2011 – and it has been such a huge blessing and gift for me. If I had waited for myself to finish all the chapters of my intended book, it probably would not have launched at all!

There is great value is action done now. The more time you allot to make a decision, the less the impact is.

Is there a decision you are deferring and deferring? Stop and just choose an option. Chances are, your decision to do it NOW makes it a better decision REGARDLESS of the option chosen.

 A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week. – General George S. Patton

 (Is there someone whom you think would greatly benefit from the content of Juan Great Leap? Bless someone by sharing now!)

Comments

  1. Ranny Aquino says:

    Hi Peter,

    Very nice article. I do agree that the principle of time value of money is very appropriate with regards to action.

    However, I i believe that action now being worth more than action later is too general, because it disregards the value of timing. For example, Bill Gates actually was the first to launch the concept of a tablet computer in year 2000 but it never really became a hit and probably was forgotten.
    When Steve Jobs launched the Ipad in 2010 everyone thought that it was such an amazing product that only a revolutionary could have thought of it but no one really knew that someone launched it earlier (or not a lot of people to be more correct).

    Another aspect of action to make it more valuable (in my opinion) is the consistency of actions that pushes the agenda (planning). It is important that the actions have something to do with each other that makes the goal nearer. Again the example would be the ipad. One reason I think it is such a hit (and has helped developed a lot of business) is because of the number of downloadable applications that are useful in daily life. If the application “ecosystem” were not in place the tablet PC’s might not have been such a hit (also i think that it is a cheaper software compared to the laptop counterparts).

    “Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.” – Joel A. Barker

    • Hey Ranny! Thanks for chiming in man. Good points, thanks for sharing!

      I completely agree that planned action completely trumps mere action. Your points greatly support this.

      The pitfall i wanted to put attention to was too much planning, or perhaps too much time spent on choosing between between a good plan and a perfect plan, or worse just plain procrastination.

      This is a reality true especially in the world of startups. I see this as a big difference between corporations and startups. In corporations, hoo boy, I don’t think anyone has complained about annual planning being “too short.” I know firms which plan for the whole of the fourth quarter, which is funny when you think about it.

      In startups, because you think of things like burn rate and because you are more vulnerable, SPEED becomes so much a necessity. With speed, you can actually choose the wrong plan, realize what the right plan is in the process, and do a pivot with minimal resources exhausted.

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