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How Instacart’s CEO uses an Assumption Report Card to make great decisions
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Assumption Report Card

Before making a decision, list your assumptions. Then, grade your assumptions periodically to improve future decisions.
Instructions

Decision: Open a lemonade stand 🍋.

Assumptions
List below the assumptions that need to prove true for the decision to be a success. Then click “add grade” to score your assumptions over time.

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Initial Assumption
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Grades Over Time
Overall notes
1
The weather will be warm, leading to thirsty passerby’s desiring a sweet beverage over a frothy coffee beverage.
Dec 2021
Jan 2022
Feb 2022
Mar 2022
2
At least 200 people per day will walk in front of my house — especially during popular spring events.
Dec 2021
Jan 2022
Feb 2022
Mar 2022
3
Lemon shortages will drive up lemon prices.
Dec 2021
Jan 2022
Feb 2022
Mar 2022
4
We can differentiate from the soda shop at the corner with bigger servings and sweeter lemonade.
Dec 2021
Jan 2022
Feb 2022
Mar 2022
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Summary of grades over time
This is a summary of grades across time and assumption.
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Assumption
Date
Dec 2021
Jan 2022
Feb 2022
Mar 2022
Verdict
Grade
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Verdict
Grade
Delete
Verdict
Grade
Delete
Verdict
Grade
Delete
The weather will be warm, leading to thirsty passerby’s desiring a sweet beverage over a frothy coffee beverage.
December was unseasonably warm. There were 4 days in the month over 70 degrees. Traffic to the coffee shop diverted to our stand.
It rained a lot in January.
Above average temperatures in February.
A lot of passerby's carry water bottles, something we didn’t anticipate.
We can differentiate from the soda shop at the corner with bigger servings and sweeter lemonade.
“Big gulps, eh?!” Five customers mentioned they loved our large cups.
The soda shop started offering bigger drink sizes.
We surveyed our customers and discovered that they care more about sweetness than cup size.
While sweetness is still important, we discovered that the convenience of the soda shop’s drive thru is important for customers. We didn’t factor convenience into our original assumption.
At least 200 people per day will walk in front of my house — especially during popular spring events.
The city re-paved the sidewalk, which led to more foot traffic.
No change.
A brand new park just opened on the corner. Lots of families walking by my house on their way to the playground.
Blazing hot in March, record high temperatures.
Lemon shortages will drive up lemon prices.
Price was at $1.35 in December.
Price stayed consistent.
Hurricanes damaged a large portion of the lemon crop, causing the price to rise to $2.10/lb.
The price of lemons is likely to stay above $2 for the rest of the year.



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