Business Plans Are Dead

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“Business Plans are DEAD!”

It used to cost so much money to start a company that you had to go begging for money like the orphan begging for more gruel.  Venture Capitalists would require you to write up a huge business plan detailing every feature your product would have and justifying every cent you intended to spend.

This got a lot of budding companies into trouble during the “Dot-Com” bubble that turned into the “Dot-Bomb”!  One of the big lessons learned from that experience was that companies could look great on paper but still not be able to sell their products.  The “Lean Startup Methodology” shows us a better way.

Bye-bye to wasted time and effort!

Gone is the need to wait until you have implemented every feature in your business plan before you can deploy your product.

The Lean Startup Methodology teaches us to test and validate each product feature before deploying any more.  This incremental approach to developing a product saves a huge amount of time and effort since each feature is validated as soon as possible.  Each “validation cycle” is used as a learning experience to determine the next important feature.

The bottom line is you learn whether you are on the right track before you implement another feature and save a huge amount of time and effort.  You learn to succeed AND FAIL constructively along the way.  Isn’t it better to implement one feature and find out it fails than wait until you have implemented a dozen features to find out it will fail?

In the case of a “fail” you learn much more about how to proceed than when you succeed.  With the Lean Startup Methodology you learn to listen to your customers responses after deploying each feature to determine whether you want to “persevere” on the course you are headed or “pivot” to a new course that your customers showed you.

Bye-bye to high startup costs!

Gone also are the days when you needed hundreds of thousands of dollars to start a new company.  The barriers to starting your own company have dropped precipitously in the past ten years.  Especially with the advent of the “cloud” and the various “app” stores.  Now you can start your own company for less than thousands of dollars.

Social media has also played a part by making it easy to promote your new product.  This has sparked a revolution in the economy since it is easier for an established company to acquire a new startup that has proven a product rather than fund an in-house R&D effort.

How does Startup Weekend help?

We don’t mean to make it sound trivial to start up your own company.  It still takes a lot of work and the right team.  What Startup Weekend does is teach you how to put your product through the “validation lifecycle” while putting you in a room with a lot of  potential partners.

Between Friday night and Sunday night you will go through at least one cycle and learn a lot about the potential for your idea becoming a real product.  This is known as “experiential learning”.  When the weekend is over you will have had a chance to determine whether your idea is worth continuing to pursue as well as see who you would like to continue to work with afterwards.

Make no mistake about it!  This is a business revolution in the world economy and Startup Weekend is a great way to become a part of it!  If you have an idea or just want to learn about starting your own company then come to Asheville Startup Weekend.  It’s time to put-up or shut-up at the start-up!