Planning vs. Executing

Should you plan your business with a 25+ slide deck and 30 page business plan or just get out there and start?

Part of me thinks you should plan your business strategy but more then not I tell people just do it and get started. There is no way in hell you can predict what is going to happen in 6 months much less talk about customer acquisition numbers in month 26 of your start-up.

My advice to start-ups has always been the same, spend a couple days and create a 10 slide pitch deck.  Even if you are not looking for funding the process allows you to simplify and clarify what your goals are.  After that fun exercise get back to work and focus on executing and creating the product or service.  The first version of the product/service will not be perfect and that is okay.  Get it out to your intended audience and wait for the feedback. If there is no feedback, then it’s back to the drawing board.

By know you are wondering what is with the image in the upper left corner of this post. It’s the icon for a Mac Twitter client called Tweetie. Tweetie was created by Loren Brichter, who claims he was never a programmer when he created Tweetie.  Recently, Tweetie was bought by Twitter and Loren will now be working for the mobile platform team at Twitter.  Loren is a great example of someone who got out there and did something. He left Apple and ended up creating Tweetie because all the Twitter clients at the time were not that great. It’s safe to say he didn’t create a 30 page business plan. You can watch the full 30 minute presentation he gave at Stanford talking about Tweetie – iTunes link.

Excellent quote from John Morgridge, former CEO of Cisco Systems. I heard the following quote from him during one of my trips to San Jose where he was speaking.

Business plans are like peeing down your leg, it gives you a warm feeling but it doesn’t do anything for you.

Update: Many people have emailed me for a template of the 10 slides.  Download a great presentation that talks about how to pitch and also the 10 slide template.

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