Elevate Your Mind.

Through the Master Mind Newsletter, delivered every other Tuesday, we unleash your full potential and upgrade decision-making. We’ll explore mental models and life design.

Organizing Strategy: A Mental Models Cookbook

By Juan Carlos

The Setup

Determining a strategy to implement requires forward-thinking, understanding the field’s landscape, and keeping the long game in mind. One of the most challenging parts is coming to a problem with an open mind, recognizing who is the team’s expert, and taking in new information.

The Approach

  • Start by mapping out what factors drive success and where the most effort is made on similar initiatives.
  • Consider the expertise of folks on the team, and value their competence and voice appropriately.
  • Bias plays a role in convictions, and it’s wise to challenge them when new information is available.
  • Model out possible scenarios and players in the industry to understand potential outcomes.
  • Think about how to grow an initiative organically.

​The Latticework

  • Pareto Principle assesses what factors drive a given circumstance and how one should approach resource allocation.
  • Circle of Competence forces you to determine what you know and don’t.
  • Bayes’ Theorem helps you consider your biases and rethink your assumptions when new data is available.
  • Game Theory allows you to model how people make decisions in different circumstances.
  • Network Effects organically grow the number of users by valuing their interaction.

​The Deep Dive

Pareto Principle
An observation that almost everything in the world has an uneven distribution — 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. The principle applies to numerous circumstances such as 80% of results come from 20% of efforts. The connection between inputs and outputs is not equivalent, and that is actionable. By assessing what factors are driving a given circumstance, one can better approach resource allocation. For example, if 20% of customers cause 80% of support tickets, solving their pain points becomes a priority. You stand to gain more satisfied customers and productive teams due to identifying the principle in action and then alleviating its negative consequences.

Circle of Competence
Individuals gain knowledge by studying or experiencing the world. Knowing where your competencies are and where they are not is crucial to understanding what problems you can solve and which ones you’ll need to ask for help. By identifying your areas of expertise, one can determine where they have an advantage. Working within a circle of competence gives you an unfair advantage with access to more information, which allows you to narrow your options and ultimately make better decisions.

Bayes’ Theorem
A mathematical formula to evaluate anything in probabilities based on all the available data, rather than one’s own biases. The key to Bayesian thinking is your capacity to attach probabilities of accuracy to something you believe to be true. Then, as you receive new data, to update those probabilities and change your mind where necessary. Folks often welcome or refuse new information without reflection, whereas a Bayesian would consider new evidence against their original conclusion. 

Game Theory
It represents how individuals should make decisions and how people make them. Game theory observes the interactions among two or more rational players and converts them into mathematical models. A game, in this case, refers to the circumstances surrounding two or more players’ actions. Players are a decision-maker in a game.The strategy is a predictable set of player interactions concerning the game’s circumstances. The theory then describes the individuals in the model and their predictable interactions. Game theory is used to examine, predict, and explain a broad range of behaviors. Today, the concept is an umbrella term for the science of rational decision-making in animals, humans, and computers.

Network Effects
Network effects are the often positive value and sometimes negative impact existing users experience when other users join a service or product. Also known as demand-side economies of scale or network externalities, when a network adds a new user, it can increase the value for everyone using it and concurrently motivate non-users to join.

Hi, I’m
Juan Carlos

Fueled by a passion for storytelling and excitement for life design, I find joy in reframing narratives to illuminate paths toward fulfillment. My experience spans high-growth startups, filmmaking, and social impact, culminating in my authorship of “Mind Guide: 49 Mental Models for Effective Decision Making.” Through mentoring and coaching, I guide teams and individuals to discover purpose and cultivate a meaningful life.

My Story

I started in film, directing award-winning features such as ‘Know How’ and ‘Second Skin.’ These cinematic endeavors earned me recognition and allowed me to serve as a spokesperson for Adobe. I founded the White Roof Project, a grassroots climate activism campaign that mitigated the urban heat island effect and spurred community-led social change.

I carried my storytelling skills and passion for societal transformation as I transitioned into the startup ecosystem. Initially, I contributed to social impact apps, converting complex issues into accessible solutions. This early experience laid a foundation for my later work, where I led the development of groundbreaking products within high-growth startups. My work has underscored the potential of technology to innovate industries and amplify the quality of human life.