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Alison Randel

Alison Randel

2 months ago

Raising the Bar on Your 1:1s

More on Leadership

KonstantinDr

KonstantinDr

12 days ago

Early Adopters And the Fifth Reason WHY

Product management wizardry.

Product management

Early adopters buy a product even if it hasn't hit the market or has flaws.

Who are the early adopters?

Early adopters try a new technology or product first. Early adopters are interested in trying or buying new technologies and products before others. They're risk-tolerant and can provide initial cash flow and product reviews. They help a company's new product or technology gain social proof.

Early adopters are most common in the technology industry, but they're in every industry. They don't follow the crowd. They seek innovation and report product flaws before mass production. If the product works well, the first users become loyal customers, and colleagues value their opinion.

What to do with early adopters?

They can be used to collect feedback and initial product promotion, first sales, and product value validation.

How to find early followers?

Start with your immediate environment and target audience. Communicate with them to see if they're interested in your value proposition.

1) Innovators (2.5% of the population) are risk-takers seeking novelty. These people are the first to buy new and trendy items and drive social innovation. However, these people are usually elite;

Early adopters (13.5%) are inclined to accept innovations but are more cautious than innovators; they start using novelties when innovators or famous people do;

3) The early majority (34%) is conservative; they start using new products when many people have mastered them. When the early majority accepted the innovation, it became ingrained in people's minds.

4) Attracting 34% of the population later means the novelty has become a mass-market product. Innovators are using newer products;

5) Laggards (16%) are the most conservative, usually elderly people who use the same products.

Stages of new information acceptance

1. The information is strange and rejected by most. Accepted only by innovators;

2. When early adopters join, more people believe it's not so bad; when a critical mass is reached, the novelty becomes fashionable and most people use it.

3. Fascination with a novelty peaks, then declines; the majority and laggards start using it later; novelty becomes obsolete; innovators master something new.

Problems with early implementation

Early adopter sales have disadvantages.

Higher risk of defects

Selling to first-time users increases the risk of defects. Early adopters are often influential, so this can affect the brand's and its products' long-term perception.

Not what was expected

First-time buyers may be disappointed by the product. Marketing messages can mislead consumers, and if the first users believe the company misrepresented the product, this will affect future sales.

Compatibility issues

Some technological advances cause compatibility issues. Consumers may be disappointed if new technology is incompatible with their electronics.

Method 5 WHY

Let's talk about 5 why, a good tool for finding project problems' root causes. This method is also known as the five why rule, method, or questions.

The 5 why technique came from Toyota's lean manufacturing and helps quickly determine a problem's root cause.

On one, two, and three, you simply do this:

  1. We identify and frame the issue for which a solution is sought.

  2. We frequently ponder this question. The first 2-3 responses are frequently very dull, making you want to give up on this pointless exercise. However, after that, things get interesting. And occasionally it's so fascinating that you question whether you really needed to know.

  3. We consider the final response, ponder it, and choose a course of action.

Always do the 5 whys with the customer or team to have a reasonable discussion and better understand what's happening.

And the “five whys” is a wonderful and simplest tool for introspection. With the accumulated practice, it is used almost automatically in any situation like “I can’t force myself to work, the mood is bad in the morning” or “why did I decide that I have no life without this food processor for 20,000 rubles, which will take half of my rather big kitchen.”

An illustration of the five whys

A simple, but real example from my work practice that I think is very indicative, given the participants' low IT skills.  Anonymized, of course.

Users spend too long looking for tender documents.

Why? Because they must search through many company tender documents.

Why? Because the system can't filter department-specific bids.

Why? Because our contract management system requirements didn't include a department-tender link. That's it, right? We'll add a filter and be happy. but still…

why? Because we based the system's requirements on regulations for working with paper tender documents (when they still had envelopes and autopsies), not electronic ones, and there was no search mechanism.

Why? We didn't consider how our work would change when switching from paper to electronic tenders when drafting the requirements.

Now I know what to do in the future. We add a filter, enter department data, and teach users to use it. This is tactical, but strategically we review the same forgotten requirements to make all the necessary changes in a package, plus we include it in the checklist for the acceptance of final requirements for the future.

Errors when using 5 why

Five whys seems simple, but it can be misused.

Popular ones:

  1. The accusation of everyone and everything is then introduced. After all, the 5 why method focuses on identifying the underlying causes rather than criticizing others. As a result, at the third step, it is not a good idea to conclude that the system is ineffective because users are stupid and that we can therefore do nothing about it.

  2. to fight with all my might so that the outcome would be exactly 5 reasons, neither more nor less. 5 questions is a typical number (it sounds nice, yes), but there could be 3 or 7 in actuality.

  3. Do not capture in-between responses. It is difficult to overestimate the power of the written or printed word, so the result is so-so when the focus is lost. That's it, I suppose. Simple, quick, and brilliant, like other project management tools.

Conclusion

Today we analyzed important study elements:

Early adopters and 5 WHY We've analyzed cases and live examples of how these methods help with product research and growth point identification. Next, consider the HADI cycle.

Thank you for your attention ❤️
Nir Zicherman

Nir Zicherman

3 months ago

The Great Organizational Conundrum

Only two of the following three options can be achieved: consistency, availability, and partition tolerance

A DALL-E 2 generated “photograph of a teddy bear who is frustrated because it can’t finish a jigsaw puzzle”

Someone told me that growing from 30 to 60 is the biggest adjustment for a team or business.

I remember thinking, That's random. Each company is unique. I've seen teams of all types confront the same issues during development periods. With new enterprises starting every year, we should be better at navigating growing difficulties.

As a team grows, its processes and systems break down, requiring reorganization or declining results. Why always? Why isn't there a perfect scaling model? Why hasn't that been found?

The Three Things Productive Organizations Must Have

Any company should be efficient and productive. Three items are needed:

First, it must verify that no two team members have conflicting information about the roadmap, strategy, or any input that could affect execution. Teamwork is required.

Second, it must ensure that everyone can receive the information they need from everyone else quickly, especially as teams become more specialized (an inevitability in a developing organization). It requires everyone's accessibility.

Third, it must ensure that the organization can operate efficiently even if a piece is unavailable. It's partition-tolerant.

From my experience with the many teams I've been on, invested in, or advised, achieving all three is nearly impossible. Why a perfect organization model cannot exist is clear after analysis.

The CAP Theorem: What is it?

Eric Brewer of Berkeley discovered the CAP Theorem, which argues that a distributed data storage should have three benefits. One can only have two at once.

The three benefits are consistency, availability, and partition tolerance, which implies that even if part of the system is offline, the remainder continues to work.

This notion is usually applied to computer science, but I've realized it's also true for human organizations. In a post-COVID world, many organizations are hiring non-co-located staff as they grow. CAP Theorem is more important than ever. Growing teams sometimes think they can develop ways to bypass this law, dooming themselves to a less-than-optimal team dynamic. They should adopt CAP to maximize productivity.

Path 1: Consistency and availability equal no tolerance for partitions

Let's imagine you want your team to always be in sync (i.e., for someone to be the source of truth for the latest information) and to be able to share information with each other. Only division into domains will do.

Numerous developing organizations do this, especially after the early stage (say, 30 people) when everyone may wear many hats and be aware of all the moving elements. After a certain point, it's tougher to keep generalists aligned than to divide them into specialized tasks.

In a specialized, segmented team, leaders optimize consistency and availability (i.e. every function is up-to-speed on the latest strategy, no one is out of sync, and everyone is able to unblock and inform everyone else).

Partition tolerance suffers. If any component of the organization breaks down (someone goes on vacation, quits, underperforms, or Gmail or Slack goes down), productivity stops. There's no way to give the team stability, availability, and smooth operation during a hiccup.

Path 2: Partition Tolerance and Availability = No Consistency

Some businesses avoid relying too heavily on any one person or sub-team by maximizing availability and partition tolerance (the organization continues to function as a whole even if particular components fail). Only redundancy can do that. Instead of specializing each member, the team spreads expertise so people can work in parallel. I switched from Path 1 to Path 2 because I realized too much reliance on one person is risky.

What happens after redundancy? Unreliable. The more people may run independently and in parallel, the less anyone can be the truth. Lack of alignment or updated information can lead to people executing slightly different strategies. So, resources are squandered on the wrong work.

Path 3: Partition and Consistency "Tolerance" equates to "absence"

The third, least-used path stresses partition tolerance and consistency (meaning answers are always correct and up-to-date). In this organizational style, it's most critical to maintain the system operating and keep everyone aligned. No one is allowed to read anything without an assurance that it's up-to-date (i.e. there’s no availability).

Always short-lived. In my experience, a business that prioritizes quality and scalability over speedy information transmission can get bogged down in heavy processes that hinder production. Large-scale, this is unsustainable.

Accepting CAP

When two puzzle pieces fit, the third won't. I've watched developing teams try to tackle these difficulties, only to find, as their ancestors did, that they can never be entirely solved. Idealized solutions fail in reality, causing lost effort, confusion, and lower production.

As teams develop and change, they should embrace CAP, acknowledge there is a limit to productivity in a scaling business, and choose the best two-out-of-three path.

Jano le Roux

Jano le Roux

16 days ago

The Real Reason Adobe Just Paid $20 billion for Figma

Sketch or Figma?

Illustration

Designers are pissed.

The beast ate the beauty.

Figma deserves $20B.

Do designers deserve Adobe?

Adobe devours new creative tools and spits them out with a slimy Adobe aftertaste.

  • Frame.io — $1.3B

  • Magento — $1.7B

  • Macromedia — $3.6B

Nothing compares to the risky $20B acquisition.

If they can't be beaten, buy them.

And then make them boring.

Adobe's everywhere.

Like that friend who dabbles in everything creatively, there's not enough time to master one thing.

Figma was Adobe's thigh-mounted battle axe.

  • a UX design instrument with a sizable free tier.

  • a UX design tool with a simple and quick user interface.

  • a tool for fluid collaboration in user experience design.

  • a web-based UX design tool that functions well.

  • a UX design tool with a singular goal of perfection.

UX design software that replaced Adobe XD.

Adobe XD could do many of Figma's things, but it didn't focus on the details. This is a major issue when working with detail-oriented professionals.

UX designers.

Design enthusiasts first used Figma. More professionals used it. Institutions taught it. Finally, major brands adopted Figma.

Adobe hated that.

Adobe dispatched a team of lawyers to resolve the Figma issue, as big companies do. Figma didn’t bite for months.

Oh no.

Figma resisted.

Figma helped designers leave Adobe. Figma couldn't replace Photoshop, but most designers used it to remove backgrounds.

Online background removal tools improved.

The Figma problem grew into a thorn, a knife, and a battle ax in Adobe's soft inner thigh.

Figma appeared to be going public. Adobe couldn’t allow that. It bought Figma for $20B during the IPO drought.

Adobe has a new issue—investors are upset.

The actual cause of investors' ire toward Adobe

Spoiler: The math just doesn’t add up.

According to Adobe's press release, Figma's annual recurring revenue (ARR) is $400M and growing rapidly.

The $20B valuation requires a 50X revenue multiple, which is unheard of.

Venture capitalists typically use:

  • 10% to 29% growth per year: ARR multiplied by 1 to 5

  • 30% to 99% growth per year: ARR multiplied by 6 to 10

  • 100% to 400% growth per year: ARR multiplied by 10 to 20

Showing an investor a 50x multiple is like telling friends you saw a UFO. They'll think you're crazy.

Adobe's stock fell immediately after the acquisition because it didn't make sense to a number-cruncher.

Designers started a Tweet storm in the digital town hall where VCs and designers often meet.

Adobe acquired Workfront for $1.5 billion at the end of 2020. This purchase made sense for investors.

Many investors missed the fact that Adobe is acquiring Figma not only for its ARR but also for its brilliant collaboration tech.

Adobe could use Figmas web app technology to make more products web-based to compete with Canva.

Figma's high-profile clients could switch to Adobe's enterprise software.

However, questions arise:

  • Will Adobe make Figma boring?

  • Will Adobe tone down Figma to boost XD?

  • Would you ditch Adobe and Figma for Sketch?

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Jess Rifkin

Jess Rifkin

9 months ago

As the world watches the Russia-Ukraine border situation, This bill would bar aid to Ukraine until the Mexican border is secured.

Although Mexico and Ukraine are thousands of miles apart, this legislation would link their responses.

Context

Ukraine was a Soviet republic until 1991. A significant proportion of the population, particularly in the east, is ethnically Russian. In February, the Russian military invaded Ukraine, intent on overthrowing its democratically elected government.

This could be the biggest European land invasion since WWII. In response, President Joe Biden sent 3,000 troops to NATO countries bordering Ukraine to help with Ukrainian refugees, with more troops possible if the situation worsened.

In July 2021, the US Border Patrol reported its highest monthly encounter total since March 2000. Some Republicans compare Biden's response to the Mexican border situation to his response to the Ukrainian border situation, though the correlation is unclear.

What the bills do

Two new Republican bills seek to link the US response to Ukraine to the situation in Mexico.

The Secure America's Borders First Act would prohibit federal funding for Ukraine until the US-Mexico border is “operationally controlled,” including a wall as promised by former President Donald Trump. (The bill even mandates a 30-foot-high wall.)

The USB (Ukraine and Southern Border) Act, introduced on February 8 by Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT0), would allow the US to support Ukraine, but only if the number of Armed Forces deployed there is less than the number deployed to the Mexican border. Madison Cawthorne introduced H.R. 6665 on February 9th (R-NC11).

What backers say

Supporters argue that even if the US should militarily assist Ukraine, our own domestic border situation should take precedence.

After failing to secure our own border and protect our own territorial integrity, ‘America Last' politicians on both sides of the aisle now tell us that we must do so for Ukraine. “Before rushing America into another foreign conflict over an Eastern European nation's border thousands of miles from our shores, they should first secure our southern border.”

“If Joe Biden truly cared about Americans, he would prioritize national security over international affairs,” Rep. Cawthorn said in a separate press release. The least we can do to secure our own country is send the same number of troops to the US-Mexico border to assist our border patrol agents working diligently to secure America.

What opponents say

The president has defended his Ukraine and Mexico policies, stating that both seek peace and diplomacy.

Our nations [the US and Mexico] have a long and complicated history, and we haven't always been perfect neighbors, but we have seen the power and purpose of cooperation,” Biden said in 2021. “We're safer when we work together, whether it's to manage our shared border or stop the pandemic. [In both the Obama and Biden administration], we made a commitment that we look at Mexico as an equal, not as somebody who is south of our border.”

No mistake: If Russia goes ahead with its plans, it will be responsible for a catastrophic and unnecessary war of choice. To protect our collective security, the United States and our allies are ready to defend every inch of NATO territory. We won't send troops into Ukraine, but we will continue to support the Ukrainian people... But, I repeat, Russia can choose diplomacy. It is not too late to de-escalate and return to the negotiating table.”

Odds of passage

The Secure America's Borders First Act has nine Republican sponsors. Either the House Armed Services or Foreign Affairs Committees may vote on it.

Rep. Paul Gosar, a Republican, co-sponsored the USB Act (R-AZ4). The House Armed Services Committee may vote on it.

With Republicans in control, passage is unlikely.

Joseph Mavericks

Joseph Mavericks

4 months ago

The world's 36th richest man uses a 5-step system to get what he wants.

Ray Dalio's super-effective roadmap 

Ray Dalio's $22 billion net worth ranks him 36th globally. From 1975 to 2011, he built the world's most successful hedge fund, never losing more than 4% from 1991 to 2020. (and only doing so during 3 calendar years). 

Dalio describes a 5-step process in his best-selling book Principles. It's the playbook he's used to build his hedge fund, beat the markets, and face personal challenges. 

This 5-step system is so valuable and well-explained that I didn't edit or change anything; I only added my own insights in the parts I found most relevant and/or relatable as a young entrepreneur. The system's overview: 

  1. Have clear goals 

  2. Identify and don’t tolerate problems 

  3. Diagnose problems to get at their root causes 

  4. Design plans that will get you around those problems 

  5. Do what is necessary to push through the plans to get results 

If you follow these 5 steps in a virtuous loop, you'll almost always see results. Repeat the process for each goal you have. 

1. Have clear goals 

a) Prioritize: You can have almost anything, but not everything. 

I started and never launched dozens of projects for 10 years because I was scattered. I opened a t-shirt store, traded algorithms, sold art on Instagram, painted skateboards, and tinkered with electronics. I decided to try blogging for 6 months to see where it took me. Still going after 3 years. 

b) Don’t confuse goals with desires. 

A goal inspires you to act. Unreasonable desires prevent you from achieving your goals. 

c) Reconcile your goals and desires to decide what you want. 

d) Don't confuse success with its trappings. 

e) Never dismiss a goal as unattainable. 

Always one path is best. Your perception of what's possible depends on what you know now. I never thought I'd make money writing online so quickly, and now I see a whole new horizon of business opportunities I didn't know about before. 

f) Expectations create abilities. 

Don't limit your abilities. More you strive, the more you'll achieve. 

g) Flexibility and self-accountability can almost guarantee success. 

Flexible people accept what reality or others teach them. Self-accountability is the ability to recognize your mistakes and be more creative, flexible, and determined. 

h) Handling setbacks well is as important as moving forward. 

Learn when to minimize losses and when to let go and move on. 

2. Don't ignore problems 

a) See painful problems as improvement opportunities. 

Every problem, painful situation, and challenge is an opportunity. Read The Art of Happiness for more. 

b) Don't avoid problems because of harsh realities. 

Recognizing your weaknesses isn't the same as giving in. It's the first step in overcoming them. 

c) Specify your issues. 

There is no "one-size-fits-all" solution. 

d) Don’t mistake a cause of a problem with the real problem. 

"I can't sleep" is a cause, not a problem. "I'm underperforming" could be a problem. 

e) Separate big from small problems. 

You have limited time and energy, so focus on the biggest problems. 

f) Don't ignore a problem. 

Identifying a problem and tolerating it is like not identifying it. 

3. Identify problems' root causes 

a) Decide "what to do" after assessing "what is." 

"A good diagnosis takes 15 to 60 minutes, depending on its accuracy and complexity. [...] Like principles, root causes recur in different situations. 

b) Separate proximate and root causes. 

"You can only solve problems by removing their root causes, and to do that, you must distinguish symptoms from disease." 

c) Knowing someone's (or your own) personality can help you predict their behavior. 

4. Design plans that will get you around the problems 

a) Retrace your steps. 

Analyze your past to determine your future. 

b) Consider your problem a machine's output. 

Consider how to improve your machine. It's a game then. 

c) There are many ways to reach your goals. 

Find a solution. 

d) Visualize who will do what in your plan like a movie script. 

Consider your movie's actors and script's turning points, then act accordingly. The game continues. 

e) Document your plan so others can judge your progress. 

Accountability boosts success. 

f) Know that a good plan doesn't take much time. 

The execution is usually the hardest part, but most people either don't have a plan or keep changing it. Don't drive while building the car. Build it first, because it'll be bumpy. 

5. Do what is necessary to push through the plans to get results 

a) Great planners without execution fail. 

Life is won with more than just planning. Similarly, practice without talent beats talent without practice. 

b) Work ethic is undervalued. 

Hyper-productivity is praised in corporate America, even if it leads nowhere. To get things done, use checklists, fewer emails, and more desk time. 

c) Set clear metrics to ensure plan adherence. 

I've written about the OKR strategy for organizations with multiple people here. If you're on your own, I recommend the Wheel of Life approach. Both systems start with goals and tasks to achieve them. Then start executing on a realistic timeline. 

If you find solutions, weaknesses don't matter. 

Everyone's weak. You, me, Gates, Dalio, even Musk. Nobody will be great at all 5 steps of the system because no one can think in all the ways required. Some are good at analyzing and diagnosing but bad at executing. Some are good planners but poor communicators. Others lack self-discipline. 

Stay humble and ask for help when needed. Nobody has ever succeeded 100% on their own, without anyone else's help. That's the paradox of individual success: teamwork is the only way to get there. 

Most people won't have the skills to execute even the best plan. You can get missing skills in two ways: 

  1. Self-taught (time-consuming) 

  2. Others' (requires humility) light

On knowing what to do with your life 

“Some people have good mental maps and know what to do on their own. Maybe they learned them or were blessed with common sense. They have more answers than others. Others are more humble and open-minded. […] Open-mindedness and mental maps are most powerful.” — Ray Dalio 

I've always known what I wanted to do, so I'm lucky. I'm almost 30 and have always had trouble executing. Good thing I never stopped experimenting, but I never committed to anything long-term. I jumped between projects. I decided 3 years ago to stick to one project for at least 6 months and haven't looked back. 

Maybe you're good at staying focused and executing, but you don't know what to do. Maybe you have none of these because you haven't found your purpose. Always try new projects and talk to as many people as possible. It will give you inspiration and ideas and set you up for success. 

There is almost always a way to achieve a crazy goal or idea. 

Enjoy the journey, whichever path you take.

Matthew Cluff

Matthew Cluff

15 days ago

GTO Poker 101

"GTO" (Game Theory Optimal) has been used a lot in poker recently. To clarify its meaning and application, the aim of this article is to define what it is, when to use it when playing, what strategies to apply for how to play GTO poker, for beginner and more advanced players!

Poker GTO

In poker, you can choose between two main winning strategies:

Exploitative play maximizes expected value (EV) by countering opponents' sub-optimal plays and weaker tendencies. Yes, playing this way opens you up to being exploited, but the weaker opponents you're targeting won't change their game to counteract this, allowing you to reap maximum profits over the long run.

GTO (Game-Theory Optimal): You try to play perfect poker, which forces your opponents to make mistakes (which is where almost all of your profit will be derived from). It mixes bluffs or semi-bluffs with value bets, clarifies bet sizes, and more.

GTO vs. Exploitative: Which is Better in Poker?

Before diving into GTO poker strategy, it's important to know which of these two play styles is more profitable for beginners and advanced players. The simple answer is probably both, but usually more exploitable.

Most players don't play GTO poker and can be exploited in their gameplay and strategy, allowing for more profits to be made using an exploitative approach. In fact, it’s only in some of the largest games at the highest stakes that GTO concepts are fully utilized and seen in practice, and even then, exploitative plays are still sometimes used.

Knowing, understanding, and applying GTO poker basics will create a solid foundation for your poker game. It's also important to understand GTO so you can deviate from it to maximize profits.

GTO Poker Strategy

According to Ed Miller's book "Poker's 1%," the most fundamental concept that only elite poker players understand is frequency, which could be in relation to cbets, bluffs, folds, calls, raises, etc.

GTO poker solvers (downloadable online software) give solutions for how to play optimally in any given spot and often recommend using mixed strategies based on select frequencies.

In a river situation, a solver may tell you to call 70% of the time and fold 30%. It may also suggest calling 50% of the time, folding 35% of the time, and raising 15% of the time (with a certain range of hands).

Frequencies are a fundamental and often unrecognized part of poker, but they run through these 5 GTO concepts.

1. Preflop ranges

To compensate for positional disadvantage, out-of-position players must open tighter hand ranges.

Premium starting hands aren't enough, though. Considering GTO poker ranges and principles, you want a good, balanced starting hand range from each position with at least some hands that can make a strong poker hand regardless of the flop texture (low, mid, high, disconnected, etc).

Below is a GTO preflop beginner poker chart for online 6-max play, showing which hand ranges one should open-raise with. Table positions are color-coded (see key below).

NOTE: For GTO play, it's advisable to use a mixed strategy for opening in the small blind, combining open-limps and open-raises for various hands. This cannot be illustrated with the color system used for the chart.

Choosing which hands to play is often a math problem, as discussed below.

Other preflop GTO poker charts include which hands to play after a raise, which to 3bet, etc. Solvers can help you decide which preflop hands to play (call, raise, re-raise, etc.).

2. Pot Odds

Always make +EV decisions that profit you as a poker player. Understanding pot odds (and equity) can help.

Postflop Pot Odds

Let’s say that we have JhTh on a board of 9h8h2s4c (open-ended straight-flush draw).  We have $40 left and $50 in the pot. He has you covered and goes all-in. As calling or folding are our only options, playing GTO involves calculating whether a call is +EV or –EV. (The hand was empty.)

Any remaining heart, Queen, or 7 wins the hand. This means we can improve 15 of 46 unknown cards, or 32.6% of the time.

What if our opponent has a set? The 4h or 2h could give us a flush, but it could also give the villain a boat. If we reduce outs from 15 to 14.5, our equity would be 31.5%.

We must now calculate pot odds.

(bet/(our bet+pot)) = pot odds

= $50 / ($40 + $90)

= $40 / $130

= 30.7%

To make a profitable call, we need at least 30.7% equity. This is a profitable call as we have 31.5% equity (even if villain has a set). Yes, we will lose most of the time, but we will make a small profit in the long run, making a call correct.

Pot odds aren't just for draws, either. If an opponent bets 50% pot, you get 3 to 1 odds on a call, so you must win 25% of the time to be profitable. If your current hand has more than 25% equity against your opponent's perceived range, call.

Preflop Pot Odds

Preflop, you raise to 3bb and the button 3bets to 9bb. You must decide how to act. In situations like these, we can actually use pot odds to assist our decision-making.

This pot is:

(our open+3bet size+small blind+big blind)

(3bb+9bb+0.5bb+1bb)

= 13.5

This means we must call 6bb to win a pot of 13.5bb, which requires 30.7% equity against the 3bettor's range.

Three additional factors must be considered:

Being out of position on our opponent makes it harder to realize our hand's equity, as he can use his position to put us in tough spots. To profitably continue against villain's hand range, we should add 7% to our equity.

Implied Odds / Reverse Implied Odds: The ability to win or lose significantly more post-flop (than pre-flop) based on our remaining stack.

While statistics on 3bet stats can be gained with a large enough sample size (i.e. 8% 3bet stat from button), the numbers don't tell us which 8% of hands villain could be 3betting with. Both polarized and depolarized charts below show 8% of possible hands.

7.4% of hands are depolarized.

Polarized Hand range (7.54%):

Each hand range has different contents. We don't know if he 3bets some hands and calls or folds others.

Using an exploitable strategy can help you play a hand range correctly. The next GTO concept will make things easier.

3. Minimum Defense Frequency:

This concept refers to the % of our range we must continue with (by calling or raising) to avoid being exploited by our opponents. This concept is most often used off-table and is difficult to apply in-game.

These beginner GTO concepts will help your decision-making during a hand, especially against aggressive opponents.

MDF formula:

MDF = POT SIZE/(POT SIZE+BET SIZE)

Here's a poker GTO chart of common bet sizes and minimum defense frequency.

Take the number of hand combos in your starting hand range and use the MDF to determine which hands to continue with. Choose hands with the most playability and equity against your opponent's betting range.

Say you open-raise HJ and BB calls. Qh9h6c flop. Your opponent leads you for a half-pot bet. MDF suggests keeping 67% of our range.

Using the above starting hand chart, we can determine that the HJ opens 254 combos:

We must defend 67% of these hands, or 170 combos, according to MDF. Hands we should keep include:

Flush draws

Open-Ended Straight Draws

Gut-Shot Straight Draws

Overcards

Any Pair or better

So, our flop continuing range could be:

Some highlights:

Fours and fives have little chance of improving on the turn or river.

We only continue with AX hearts (with a flush draw) without a pair or better.

We'll also include 4 AJo combos, all of which have the Ace of hearts, and AcJh, which can block a backdoor nut flush combo.

Let's assume all these hands are called and the turn is blank (2 of spades). Opponent bets full-pot. MDF says we must defend 50% of our flop continuing range, or 85 of 170 combos, to be unexploitable. This strategy includes our best flush draws, straight draws, and made hands.

Here, we keep combining:

Nut flush draws

Pair + flush draws

GS + flush draws

Second Pair, Top Kicker+

One combo of JJ that doesn’t block the flush draw or backdoor flush draw.

On the river, we can fold our missed draws and keep our best made hands. When calling with weaker hands, consider blocker effects and card removal to avoid overcalling and decide which combos to continue.

4. Poker GTO Bet Sizing

To avoid being exploited, balance your bluffs and value bets. Your betting range depends on how much you bet (in relation to the pot). This concept only applies on the river, as draws (bluffs) on the flop and turn still have equity (and are therefore total bluffs).

On the flop, you want a 2:1 bluff-to-value-bet ratio. On the flop, there won't be as many made hands as on the river, and your bluffs will usually contain equity. The turn should have a "bluffing" ratio of 1:1. Use the chart below to determine GTO river bluff frequencies (relative to your bet size):

This chart relates to your opponent's pot odds. If you bet 50% pot, your opponent gets 3:1 odds and must win 25% of the time to call. Poker GTO theory suggests including 25% bluff combinations in your betting range so you're indifferent to your opponent calling or folding.

Best river bluffs don't block hands you want your opponent to have (or not have). For example, betting with missed Ace-high flush draws is often a mistake because you block a missed flush draw you want your opponent to have when bluffing on the river (meaning that it would subsequently be less likely he would have it, if you held two of the flush draw cards). Ace-high usually has some river showdown value.

If you had a 3-flush on the river and wanted to raise, you could bluff raise with AX combos holding the bluff suit Ace. Blocking the nut flush prevents your opponent from using that combo.

5. Bet Sizes and Frequency

GTO beginner strategies aren't just bluffs and value bets. They show how often and how much to bet in certain spots. Top players have benefited greatly from poker solvers, which we'll discuss next.

GTO Poker Software

In recent years, various poker GTO solvers have been released to help beginner, intermediate, and advanced players play balanced/GTO poker in various situations.

PokerSnowie and PioSolver are popular GTO and poker study programs.

While you can't compute players' hand ranges and what hands to bet or check with in real time, studying GTO play strategies with these programs will pay off. It will improve your poker thinking and understanding.

Solvers can help you balance ranges, choose optimal bet sizes, and master cbet frequencies.

GTO Poker Tournament

Late-stage tournaments have shorter stacks than cash games. In order to follow GTO poker guidelines, Nash charts have been created, tweaked, and used for many years (and also when to call, depending on what number of big blinds you have when you find yourself shortstacked).

The charts are for heads-up push/fold. In a multi-player game, the "pusher" chart can only be used if play is folded to you in the small blind. The "caller" chart can only be used if you're in the big blind and assumes a small blind "pusher" (with a much wider range than if a player in another position was open-shoving).

Divide the pusher chart's numbers by 2 to see which hand to use from the Button. Divide the original chart numbers by 4 to find the CO's pushing range. Some of the figures will be impossible to calculate accurately for the CO or positions to the right of the blinds because the chart's highest figure is "20+" big blinds, which is also used for a wide range of hands in the push chart.

Both of the GTO charts below are ideal for heads-up play, but exploitable HU shortstack strategies can lead to more +EV decisions against certain opponents. Following the charts will make your play GTO and unexploitable.

Poker pro Max Silver created the GTO push/fold software SnapShove. (It's accessible online at www.snapshove.com or as iOS or Android apps.)

Players can access GTO shove range examples in the full version. (You can customize the number of big blinds you have, your position, the size of the ante, and many other options.)

In Conclusion

Due to the constantly changing poker landscape, players are always improving their skills. Exploitable strategies often yield higher profit margins than GTO-based approaches, but knowing GTO beginner and advanced concepts can give you an edge for a few reasons.

It creates a solid gameplay base.

Having a baseline makes it easier to exploit certain villains.

You can avoid leveling wars with your opponents by making sound poker decisions based on GTO strategy.

It doesn't require assuming opponents' play styles.

Not results-oriented.

This is just the beginning of GTO and poker theory. Consider investing in the GTO poker solver software listed above to improve your game.