Planning is important
An orthodoxy has developed that a business plan is a critical component of a business. There are lots of business plan contests. Business planning software. There seems to be an assumption that all start-up entrepreneurs need to not only become proficient in their market but business planning (not to overlook the expectation that they also become experts in business and tax law). But do the best business plan writers really make the best entrepreneurs?
Implementing is important
This is balanced with a devotional chant that "only implementation matters." A focus on getting into the market and testing things iteratively with the customer. In a commitment to the school of trial-n-error; the result is often under funding and poorly conceived systems, mistargeted products, and financially or emotionally exhausted leadership.
Where is the emphasis?
As I continue to work with entrepreneurs I have a growing concern that the MBA-school consultant-driven over-emphasis on the front end business planning process over emphasizes the illusion of control, lack of responsiveness to the market, and unrealistic expectations.
In fact, I have committed a percentage of my lottery winnings (when I win) to commission a study on the correlation between start-up success and winning business plans. My hypothesis is that companies which win business planning contest actually perform at a rate less than the relevant industry averages.
But since I haven't won yet, and can't afford the time to do the study myself -- I am this community:
So, how important is the business plan to the operational launch of a start-up?