Issue 87 - 02 | How Unplanning Your Business Can Make It Happen Faster

By Ian Sanders & David Sloly
Published Oct. 5, 2011 10:00 a.m.
“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.”

About Ian Sanders & David Sloly | Ian Sanders specializes in the creative industry, where he’s helped launch ideas in TV, radio, advertising, design, software and technology. He’s also the author of Leap! Ditch Your Job, Start Your Own Business & Set Yourself Free and Juggle! Rethink Work, Reclaim Your Life. David Sloly creates ideas for a living. After producing programmes for stations including BBC Radio 1, Virgin Radio and Kiss FM, David started producing content for digital platforms, soon getting snapped up by tech marketing agency Mason Zimbler as their Digital Guru. He rose to become Executive Creative Director working on campaigns for Microsoft, Toshiba and EMC.

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