Sunday, May 5, 2013

Lean Startups Need a Business Plan, Too

I have a problem with so-called "lean startup." I think I'll use it as I can, and I've even used this method before a name and a major supporter. My problem is how followers suspicious of the deal is a good idea to have a new business plan.

Eric Ries popularized the concept in his book The Lean Startup (Crown Business, 2011). Also it is related to Steve Blank, an entrepreneur, teacher and writer. They both deserve a lot of credit. Lean startup is a good framework for entrepreneurs.

Related: How to Keep Customers Lean Startup

Wikipedia says startup "advocates the creation of rapid prototyping market test that assumption and using customer feedback in an effort to develop better designs faster than traditional product development practices." Lean usually associated with the iterative process is summarized as "build-measure-learn"; loop.

But here's my beef in a nutshell: When Ries and empty criticized business plan, they talk about the now-obsolete approach: a formal written business plan. They say it is getting in the way of the process more agile and flexible lean startup. But what they do not criticize what the business plan should be. In fact, the business plan should not.

So small straw-man argument. First, the Ries and blank defines a business plan as a formal document that takes a long time to make and flexibility, it can not be tested and can not be changed. Then they said the business plan is useless.

It's kind of like saying exercise regularly is not good for you because some people redundant and ended up in joint damage.

It is better to support the type of business plan that could be called a lean business planning. That means starting a small business plan that summarizes current strategy, metrics, milestones, tasks and responsibilities of the base. You do not print, let alone edit, Polish and published. You just use it.

A real business plan to grow organically, like lean startup. The process begins with concrete and specific plan for what should happen and continue forever to regular review and revision.

Related: How to Craft Business Plan That Will Turn Head Investor '

If it is defined as such, the process of business plan framework sleek fit. Lean startup process is a continuous cycle time based on three repeated phase: build, measure and learn. Good business planning is a continuous cycle based on phase three of the same thing over: plan, evaluate and change. I think everyone in the business should have this type of plan "lean" business.

Ironically, while both knocked Ries and Blank business plan from time to time, they also support this type of planning process I suggested. It is a misuse of the plan, leaving the static and run robot, they do not want. Here is a paragraph from the book Ries said this:

"The first problem is the allure of a good plan, a solid strategy and a thorough market research in a previous era, these things are possible indicators of success .. The Great temptation to apply them on startup as well, but it does not work for startup operating in excessive uncertainty. '

Even here, in their own words Ries, you can see that the problem is not a plan or plans. About this spending too much time developing the plan. Implicitly, it is about implementing the plan without review and revision.

I'm pretty sure that, if requested, both Ries and blank agree that even with lean startup, continue to think about the goals, measures, metrics, and a number of major activities. As businesses continue to experience measuring and analyzing, the plan is subject to review and revision, which brings us back to the basic plan.