Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Don't write a business plan... almost...

I read this fascinating article by Jason Cohen.

In it, he explains why writing a business plan is best case scenario if your intention is wasting time. Mostly, he proposes, sticking to your plan is about as likely as winning the lottery. "At the beginning you don't know anything about what your business will look like. Your product will evolve to fit the market." writes Jeff.

I tend to wholeheartedly agree with the following exceptions:

  • There are people who need to write things down. Not everybody, but some people do. Sucks for those people, but there are a lot out there that can only organize their thoughts in a long, drawn-out description. I would say that if this is how you think, you are at a severe disadvantage in business. You have to be able to think on your feet and juggle a lot of information in your head.
  • Writing some things down is necessary. It's good to have basic concepts written down so that others can read them, however this is far from what most business plans would look like. A short two-pager is sufficient for many investors. Spend the rest of your time working on your concept, networking, and most of all, believing in yourself.
I strongly recommend that you read Jason's blog. It is a fantastic resource for the entrepreneurial mind.


  1. Nothing wrong with using writing to organize your thoughts. In fact, I've found that my blog has (ironically) taught me what I think about things, just because I'm forced to write something down and make an argument.

    The only real danger is in believing that, once you've written it down, that somehow that text has weight, contains meaning, is something to be "followed" rather than a scratchpad.

    Just calling it a "plan" puts you in the wrong frame of mind.

    So perhaps the best advice is to write things down but title the document "Wild Ass Guesses." That way you're approach it with the right mindset.

    Then of course there's no reason not to do it if it helps you think.

  2. Ha ha, I like the idea.

    Great points Jason. I think the notion of following something that you're trying to lead is asinine.