I recently read about Amazon using a 1 way, 2 way door thought process to help them make decisions.
In short, what they do is they decide on how big a decision is and if the decision is reversible or not. If a decision isn’t easily reversible than they will consider it a 1 way door. In 1 way door decisions, they will only invest a small amount of resources to protect their downside risk.
For example, if they are introducing a new product they will test it out in a much smaller market as opposed to a large market. This limits their risk. If the product they are testing doesn’t work out well than they can abandon it and they will only lose a small amount of time and money than if they decided to introduce it to a much larger market instead.
Facebook is doing this now. There have been rumors about them creating a dating platform on their social networking site but they don’t want to jeopardize all of the hard work and value they’ve created with their social network so they are testing out their dating service only in a small market as opposed to going global with it. For those interested, they are currently testing it out at Columbia University and you can find out more by following this link: