Burn the Business Plan Books What Great Entrepreneurs Really Do

: Carl Schramm : Self-help book : January 2018

We’ve read a lot of business books, and this is the best one, in large part because the person writing it has done real analysis over many years of actual results covering thousands of attempts to start new businesses. Thus, he takes an empirical approach based on what has really worked, rather than an anecdotal approach based on personal results at one company or, worse yet, a theory based approach from an academic.

As you would expect from the title, his research indicates absolutely no correlation between success and the traditional approach; write a business plan, use an incubator, go after venture capital funding based on a short term exit strategy.

The way to learn how to do a business startup is to do a business startup. Picasso had the same idea about art: “I am always doing what I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Just as each piece of original art is different, each business venture is different, and decisions must be context based.

As one of the successful founders he quotes says “Making a successful company requires an intimate tango with customers, not a tight grip on a business plan”.

Real world business is a messy trial and error process, you learn as you go along, and it’s the kind of learning that has to be internalized and can’t really be taught.

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