Nic created the video below--the subtitles and edits are his. The bad cold is mine. I hope you like it (the video, not the cold).
Also from Seth's Blog Layering on 1/22/08
The Entrepreneurial Mind on 1/17/08 also has a perspective on whether To Plan, Or Not to Plan.Here's what we used to do:
Create ---> Edit ---> Launch
Here's what happens now:
Create ---> Launch ---> Edit ---> Launch ---> repeat
Someone asked me which post on this blog represented the turning point of its growth. The 'breakthrough' post. It turns out that there wasn't one. Instead, there were 2,500 posts, one after the other, each building (and I was learning from each) as we went. And thus the challenge. We live in a layered world now. Those that plan and plan and then launch are always going to be at a disadvantage to the layerers.
I don't believe that this is in opposition to what Seth Godin had said, just said differently from a different perspective. Dr. Campbell also expresses the idea that plans are not the holy grail of entrepreneurship and when he writes that he will have to adjust my plan each step along the way, I think of Seth Godin's layering.
We set business plans up on a pedestal as if it is the holy grail of entrepreneurship. Just look at BusinessWeek.com's most recent special issue on entrepreneurship -- it is all about business planning.The Entrepreneurial Mind also tells us that Growth is Never a Smooth Curve
It is as if we are telling aspiring entrepreneurs that once they unlock the secrets of the business plan, the world of entrepreneurial wealth will come pouring out at them. Sorry, but this is just not true.
On the other hand, there is now a debate raging as to whether we should even teach entrepreneurs about business plans.
All of this -- and I mean both sides of this debate -- is missing the point.So why do we teach about business plans? It is because they are a way to help organize what can be a complex and overwhelming array of issues. It is because it forces us to integrate our marketing plans, or operating plans and our financial plans into one, coherent story.
But I still plan. I just know that I will have to adjust my plan each step along the way as I begin to implement it as I start and grow my business.
The truth is that growth is a messy thing. It never follows a smooth path. The real curves that signify growth are jagged. Growth is lumpy, not smooth.
Growth requires us to make leaps of faith as we commit to significant new overhead, including more space, more equipment and more staff.
And in today's dynamic economy, a growing business is like the shark -- it has to keep moving forward, or it will drown.
The commitment to growth requires careful thought and careful planning. Never grow simply on faith and hope. Grow with a careful plan that tells you what challenges your decision to grow will create.
Is this in disagreement with what was said above? I don't believe so. This goes back to Seth Godin's point about maintaining curiosity, because curiosity is to my mind the pre-commitment to immerse our selves in a chosen field to learn all we can and endeavor to make it better. This post only touches lightly upon Dr. Campbell's ideas. His full post better expresses the balance that entrepreneurs need to achieve.