I really like this metaphor for business planning: Look before you leap… on Stu Phillip’s Soaring on Ridgelift blog:

“Building a business plan is a lot like planning a long cross-country flight as a pilot. You have data that you know for certain such as where you are going, the route to be flown and the basic performance of the aircraft. You are also faced with a set of data that is less certain–the forecast weather, potential equipment failures, your own fatigue level, etc. A good pilot examines the uncertain data and builds a contingency plan before committing to the flight. For example, if there is uncertainty in the weather, the contingency plan may be to take a different route, turn back, land or simply ‘don’t go.’ The point is that this thought process takes place BEFORE you leave the ground.”

Stu is a Silicon Valley venture capitalist. His Soaring on Ridgelift is a good blog to watch. Or maybe I should say “has been” instead of is, because he’s been quiet on the blogging lately. Maybe that tells us something about the post-crash world of venture capital?

Tim BerryTim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.