Steve Blank says that no business plan survives first contact with the customer. That’s a riff on a quote ascribed to Helmuth von Moltke, a German general from the 19th Century who said “no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.”
The point is that the value of the plan is in the planning; in the understanding about your customers, products and markets. It’s in the learning of your strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It’s about pivots and reacting to what you learn when you enter the market.
A plan gives you a set of objects to get started but immediately, you run into things you didn’t anticipate. Your planing should include “what-if” scenarios and careful measures to provide data on how you are doing.
It always takes longer, costs more and is more challenging that you expect to get your company launched and your product in the hands of the customer. Stay lean, flexible and pivot!
Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson