Tips and Traps

The Secret Sauce

Where’s my discussion of the secret sauce? Somebody¬†asked me that a couple days ago, expecting it to be in this book. I was embarrassed. I talk about the secret sauce a lot, in my seminars and in my class, at the office. It’s definitively another view of the same reality I’m calling the heart of...


Impatient? Then Jump In

I understand. Enough of the explanations and positioning, let’s get working on a plan. So go ahead, just jump in and do it. Most people like to start with the heart of the plan. Jump there now, you’ll see what I mean. It’s about what really drives your business. Your target market, your business offering,...


The Big Plan, All At Once

You can also do the big plan all at once! I understand. This new approach is great but never mind, you need the formal plan. You’ve been asked for it by somebody who might invest, or a bank loan manager, or a boss. Maybe you’re doing it for a business school class. I call these...


Filter Ideas from Opportunities

Business ideas are interesting, exciting stuff to build a business by, but they are worth nothing (in general) until somebody builds a company around them. Opportunities are the best of the ideas. An idea is just that. An opportunity is an idea you can implement. You have the resources, and know-how to do it. There...


If You Dread Planning Your Startup, Don’t Start It

Recently I had one of those lightbulbs go off in my head. I’m referring to those times when you’re reminded of something you already knew, but had forgotten. In my case today it was this: Planning your new business, the one you’re thinking of starting, ought to be fun. Planning isn’t about writing some ponderous...


Before You Write a Business Plan

Validating the idea and understanding the business model are pretty important steps that should come before writing a business plan. That’s hardly a novel idea. Still, novel idea or not, successful entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa spells out the early stages very well in a BusinessWeek special report published in early 2008, “Before You Write a Business...


Guy Kawasaki on Mission Statements

The fundamental shortcoming of most mission statements is that everyone expects them to be highfalutin and all-encompassing. The result is a long, boring, commonplace, and pointless joke. In The Mission Statement Book, Jeffrey Abrams provides 301 examples of mission statements that demonstrate that companies are all writing the same mediocre stuff. To wit, this is...


Jump to the Future and Ask This Question

You fall in love with your plan, and love is blind. You don’t see the fatal flaw. I know a man who jumped headfirst into a new venture based on building a chain of used CD stores. The punch line? It was 2000. Napster was already there. Do you see the fatal flaw? He didn’t....


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