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Espressopreneur: The Worthless Value of Writing a Business Plan

"My biggest piece of advice is just do it and just don’t worry about the business plans. If it’s a good idea, the money will come. It’s as simple as that.”[1] — Ben Clymer, founder, Hodinkee

Ben is a perfect example of doing, or in this case not doing, what I discuss in Entrepreneur Myths: The Startup Reality. Instead of spending months writing a business plan, he formed Hodinkee, the online destination for information about wristwatches. He just did it. Let me be crystal clear: I despise writing business plans and you should too.

As an entrepreneur, when I was younger I must have written at least 30 business plans. But when I stopped writing business plans and focused on building out my ideas through real-time market feedback, I got funded quicker than the average nine-month funding sequence. 

As a venture capitalist, I never read business plans. I expected the entrepreneur to be the business plan. When I was young, my mother would make us eat a horrible Yugoslavian dish called pitija[2] Eating it made me gag. I finally came clean with my 80-year old mother and I told her how much I hated and despised that dish. "I knew that," she laughed.

"The why did you make me eat it?" I asked angrily.

"Because I wanted you to appreciate the value of getting food on the table. Besides, it is a delicacy." 

"Yeah, from your perspective," I said, still annoyed about being forced to eat it.

If you ever have the chance to taste pitija, I guarantee you'll gag. As much as I detested eating that dish, I detest writing business plans more. This is a harsh statement for me to make: Writing business plans today is worthless — if you want to get out into the market quicker.

Forget about writing business plans. Focus on developing a working beta version of your product or service, and get out there and talk to your customers. Let your product or service become your business plan. Please let me know your ideas by commenting below.

© 2013 entrepreneurdex 

Damir Perge, author of Entrepreneur Myths: The Startup Reality, is the founder of entrepreneurdex, a venturcelerator using complexity science to fund and launch startups.

An entrepreneur and investor, with more than 25 years experience, he's worked with ventures in the technology, internet, media and publishing, entertainment, energy, and manufacturing sectors raising more than $300 million in capital for various companies and investing more than $50 million into startup and emerging ventures. He's sat on the boards of 11 companies, served as editor-in-chief of Futuredex, a private equity magazine. Follow 

Pre-order Damir Perge's upcoming books at damirperge.com >

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