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How Unplanning Your Business Can Make It Happen Faster

Ian Sanders, David Sloly

October 05, 2011

"We gave a talk at South By South West Interactive in 2010 and asked a room full of entrepreneurs who had written a business plan if they had actually looked at it since launch. A resounding 'no' came back. So we asked if the business they now owned and ran looked anything like the one they had written about in the business plan. Another 'no.' They all admitted that they had written the plan simply because they thought that is what you're supposed to do. They had exerted great effort on a document that they would not look at again. How does this make sense? And this is from entrepreneurs that made their business idea happen, these were the successful ones. So what of the thousands that started to write a plan, got a little stuck and gave up? What ideas have the world been deprived of because they believed they needed a fully detailed plan to make that thing real? [...] The problem with writing a fixed plan is that you can get stuck in amber mode. You get so bogged down with hypotheticals, financial modeling and revenue projections that your cool business idea gets stuck in a spreadsheet and the light never goes green. Instead of focusing on making your business idea happen, you end up suffering from analysis paralysis: the number one killer of all great business ideas."

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