34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Can You Predict the Future?
, May 15, 2012
This review is from: Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future (Hardcover)
I've helped create and/or review hundreds of business plans. Invariably they all involve lots of assumptions about the future. I tell anyone working with a business plan that the plan is only as good as the assumptions. And generally the assumptions are the best guess of whoever prepared the business plan.
Unfortunately most of these plans did not come close to meeting the goals set forth in the business plan. So the question becomes: Is there a better way for entrepreneurs to get their business off the ground than the time honored business plan? The answer, according to the authors of Just Start is just that. Get started.
One of the recurring themes of the book is "If you can't predict the future - and increasingly you can't - action trumps everything." The authors go on to say, "you need to act your way into creating the future you want."
But they are not advocating helter-skelter action. They are not suggesting that you start taking action without some structure. What they are suggesting is that you do a lot less thinking about things and take some actions which will produce measurable results. Whenever you take action, you gain some knowledge that you did not have before. Use that knowledge to guide your next steps.
There is a well thought out structure to their advice. Before you jump in and start taking action, ask and answer these four questions:
1. It is feasible, is it within the realm of reality?
2. Can I do it, is it feasible for me?
3. Is it worth doing? Is there a market for it? Does it make sense to put in all this effort?
4. Do I want to do it?
The fourth question is the most important. You need to measure your level of desire for the project.
After you assess your level of desire, the next step is to act quickly with the means at hand. What can you do with your current resources? Next determine your acceptable loss level. How much time, money, energy are you willing to lose on the project? You must determine this on the front end.
After you take action you will gain some additional insights. From those insights, you need to build on what you have learned. The final step is to bring other people into the process.
While I have highlighted the steps, there is a lot of additional very helpful information about the process. The authors go into detail about what to do, how to do it and the results you are looking for.
There are also sections which deal with how to use these concepts in a larger organization as well as your personal life. Those sections are interesting but not on the same level as the information for entrepreneurs.
The book is based on lots of research and experience but it is written in a breezy conversational style. You will immediately grasp the concepts and how to apply them to your entrepreneurial projects. This book could save you a lot of time, money and energy in developing your next new business/project.
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, by all means add this book to your toolkit. If you know someone who longs to be an entrepreneur, this is the place to start.
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