A book review from Dan Beaulieu
Fail Fast or Win Big: The Start-up Plan for Starting Now
Author: Bernhard Schroeder
Stop aiming and start firing!
Every so often you find a book that ends up being more of a stimulant for ideas than just a book. This is one of those books. I want to call it the “Nike—just do it” book because that’s exactly what the message is. He claims for example that business plans are a thing of the past, that they take too long to do and that they are not as effective as well as just doing it.The business model, a short business model with the good and the bad and the ugly of just trying something is the way to go.
Schroeder gives numerous examples of entrepreneurs who gave it a go before most people would have thought their new product or service was truly ready for prime time. So many times, people have a great idea but they wait too long to execute that idea, and instead they spend their time writing long business plans to please those bankers who are never going to give them the funds to start the business anyway.
Schroeder tells us to just get going. He says that all we need is a great story, a story that will explain exactly what we are trying to sell and how it will work. He says that instead of a full-blown business plan, all we need is what he calls “the Lean Model Framework,” consisting of the following slides:
• Company Purpose
• Problem and Solution
• Why now?
• Market Size
• Business Model
• Revenue Model
• Team and Financials
And that is all you need to launch your new business. He wants us to develop a model as soon as possible with the understanding that it will not be perfect but that it will be good enough to exemplify what the product or service should look like, enough to get someone interest in the product and thus the company.
From the book: Lessons learned:
• Believe in your product, not foolishly, but with common sense
• Find ways to get things done
• Follow the trend
• Look at alternate sources of distribution if traditional sources don’t work
• Seek out other people or companies who have the same beliefs and look for either leverage or distribution opportunities
Schroeder ends Chapter five with this quote: You really don’t know if you have a company until you have created a product or service prototype and have sold it in the marketplace. That is, you can’t improve a product unless you get customer feedback. And you need to move faster than potential competitors. So create a prototype sooner rather than later.
If you are passionate about your career, then you will eat and breathe and drink sales. This also means that you will read every good business book you can get your hands on