Planning, Startups, Stories


Tim Berry on business planning, starting and growing your business, and having a life in the meantime.

Comments and Moderation 4

I love the comments on this blog and I thank everybody who adds them. They make it a lot better.

I moderate the comments, so your comment might not appear immediately. I apologize for any delay.

For those comments I don’t approve, for most of them the reasons why not are completely obvious.  No need to elaborate on that one.

However, there are some borderline comments that make me uncomfortable not approving them. Those deserve explanation:

  • Simple praise. “Great post, thanks” and things like that. My ego is big enough already, thanks, and some people use that to establish links that improve their SEO. Some of that is actually paid linkbaiting. I apologize in advance for not approving those.
  • Free advertising. I don’t think it’s fair to post a sales pitch for your product or service on this blog.  While there are ads on the sidebar, I don’t sell them and I don’t take money to plug products. Why would I let you do it on my blog?
  • Suspicious recommendations. I try to click a few links to figure out whether the comment recommending something is a legitimate recommendation from somebody, or more disguised advertising. You’ll find I have approved dozens of comments containing recommendations, even recommendations with links … but only when they relate to the post and come from somebody who isn’t selling and doesn’t benefit from the sale.
  • Meanness. Trolls not welcome. Disagreement, yes, and criticism, also; but not anonymous meanness.
  • Janet Wolff

    Hi! I just found your blog site – I actually had your site down as a reference from a book I’m reading, but found you as a result of a different search while I have been trying to study how to do this. I’m a 40-something woman and I want to start my own business. I have a visionary mind and I’m very analytical (almost to a fault…). I have been working in contracts administration and accounts payable for over 7 years now and I’m hitting a dead-end in the industry. Not to mention, I’m tired of the cube life. I have worked even booths at home-shows and fairs for virtually nothing and less. I have half a clue as to how to operate, but I have no idea how to get started. Because of the down-turn in the economy and the job market, I have been working as a temp for the last 2 years and our home is way under water. As a result, I have no money – we live literally from week to week. I want a better life – one that results in benefitting from hard work. I have no idea how to get started, but the research I’ve done so far has revealed that I know nothing. I just discovered that if I get a food cart, it has to go through an approval application review at $130 hr w/ a minimum of 2 hours. None of the books I’ve read have mentioned this expenditure. If it sounds like I’m asking for some hand-holding, well, yes I am. I want to do this so badly, but fear has always been my own self-defeating nemisis. All of that to ask you: Do you have a map? Any direction you can provide would be GREATLY appreciated! I don’t want to think I’ve covered the bases only to find out – oh, sorry, you screwed up. You now owe us big money. I can’t afford that. Anyway, I’m hoping you can offer something… Thanks for your blog – I’ve read several entries now.

  • http://www.theincubationfactory.com Dan Schmitt

    Tim,

    Have you ever considered the whole idea of a Business “Plan” is in support of industrial age thinking? As a person who can profess “3 weeks to a startup” and “business planning as you go”, it appears you are already outside the box, but yet you still call it a box?

    I think your business planning as you go is a nice start, but there is a long way to go to eradicate industrial age thinking and to create a living, breathing business MODEL framework that is actually a tool to use for success instead of a business plan – which is ONLY used to get started. A survey of startups will reveal that the iterative path to market makes their original buisness plan futile.

    Unfortunately, for people who believe in what we teach them, we (as a society) punish entrepreneurs because we really leave it up to them to distinguish what is relevant or not in our 83 page “plans”. Why not TEACH what actually OCCURS in start-ups versus what “conceptually” occurs in a perfect world. Last I checked, our world is far from perfect – and a business startup is the poster child for chaos. It’s my view that “Business Plan” mentality makes matters worse, not better. There are alternatives

    • http://timberry.com Tim Berry

      Dan, wow, you’re on this blog with that comment? Have you read what I write? Click any post in the “business planning” category, or, better yet, the ones in the favorites list.

      What you do when you knock business planning is the logical equivalent of knocking exercise because some people do it wrong and get shin splints or knee problems. Nobody who understands business planning, and me least of all, is advocating an old-fashioned or obsolete business plan document.

      I think the business model framework is great. I’ve got a copy of the Osterwalder book on my desk. It’s a valuable addition to business planning. What I don’t get is why some people — you included, apparently — think it’s one or the other, business plan or business model. A business model without good planning process to make it real — meaning a plan, plus tracking, regular review and revisions, strategy, metrics, management, accountability — is as useless as an 83-page, static, business plan document. What really matters is not the plan but the management the planning causes. All business plans are wrong (there’s a post here with that title) … but vital, because they are the first step in planning process.

      So I’m not in any damn box, but you might be, because you’re defining “business plan” as something it isn’t.

      Tim

  • http://writetoknow.ca Ellen

    hi Tim, this note resonates with me as someone on the perenial search for enlightment and interesting work in the office cubicle. Instead, all I’ve experienced is frustration, bureaucracy and people who want to divert me from the interesting work. I am a veteran of communications and have always wanted to be on my own – a lack of courage and worry about finances always prevent it. Maybe that’s just an excuse…thanks for your enlightened posts.
    Ellen