How Can You Possibly Manage Without Planning?

The past month I have been responsible for the forecast for Palo Alto Software’s next fiscal year. This is the first year where I am truly solely responsible, as I am now the CEO. As I have massaged numbers, asked for collaboration on budgets from managers of different departments, and discussed the sales forecast with...

Warning: Watch Your Assumptions

Always make your assumptions explicit and make sure to go back and review the assumptions as you track progress and manage your plan.

Ideas are Easy, Doing Stuff is Hard

I posted here last week about the example of Mark Zuckerberg and the controversy around Facebook. Three different people claim he stole their idea. This morning Seth Godin answered an email asking why he gives ideas away in his blog: “I responded that ideas are easy, doing stuff is hard.” This comes up here frequently because...

Old Stuff as New Business Idea

There’s an interesting post this morning on Small Business Trends. Steven Teo writes about the nostalgia boom. He mentions Couverture old-style suitcases, the rebirth of old video games, and retro appliances. It reminds me of some new cars which look like old cars, old-style telephones, and drive-in diners. We’ve seen a couple of consumer products which...

Business Planning like Building Blocks.

Think of your start-up business plan as a matter of blocks; pieces. You don’t have to have the whole block structure done before you take any next steps. Start your blocks where you like. Some common blocks are the mantra, the mission statement, the keys to success, maybe a break-even analysis, or a SWOT, or...

List of 4 Lists

Try this deceptively simple list as part of your business planning process. List what you know, what you don’t know, what you assume, and what you don’t know you don’t know. The fourth one is the biggest challenge, according to Venture capitalist Stu Phillips in Soaring on Ridgelift, the author. “It’s a virtual list because...

What Do You Spend on Your Pay-Per-Ignore?

So here is the question: how much Internet marketing money are these businesses spending in Web design, hardware, infrastructure, search-engine optimization, etc., to attract me as a potential customer, only to ignore me? What is their Pay-Per-Ignore?

Business Plans are Always Wrong

Seth Godin includes venture competitions to his Pundits are (nearly) always wrong post yesterday. I say take that a step further: business plans are always wrong. I have to say I like how well this ties into his post on Starbucks from a couple days earlier. That’s because we’re human. Business plans predict the future....

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