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Burn the Business Plan

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Burn the Business Plan

What Great Entrepreneurs Really Do

Simon & Schuster,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Entrepreneurial success requires a “leap of faith” – not a business plan.

Editorial Rating



  • Comprehensive
  • Innovative
  • Concrete Examples


Economist, entrepreneur, professor, venture investor and the former head of “the world’s largest philanthropy dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship,” Carl J. Schramm reports that many popular ideas about how to launch a business are built on unrealistic ideas of what makes companies work. This refreshing guide presents case studies to show how various factors affect specific businesses and their founders. getAbstract recommends this inspiring evaluation of entrepreneurship to business creators at all stages of their companies’ growth, as well as to prospective franchisees, entrepreneurship teachers and those looking to build a business.


No Business Plan

The need to write a formal business plan appeared in the 1980s. The prototype business plan drew on elements of strategic planning. It tapped into the belief that you can succeed by following a “linear, rational, critical path model” of business. Planning attempts to organize an inherently chaotic process. Business plans make it easy for investors to compare and evaluate various start-up propositions, so investors come to rely on them. Business planning emphasizes how an investor can eventually exit at a profit. Remember that Apple, Cisco, Facebook and Google all launched without written plans.

Entrepreneurs do well when they surround themselves with the support of “a local ‘ecosystem’.” This finding led to the development of “incubators,” organized investor and mentor groups who provide an environment for new business growth. The US government contributes approximately $2 billion to support incubators, but evidence – the fact that the number of start-up businesses in the country is falling – shows that the system doesn’t work. And, the rate at which new businesses fail hasn’t changed since 1992: 25% don’t survive the first year...

About the Author

Economist and professor Carl J. Schramm has founded or co-founded five companies, co-founded the Global Entrepreneurship Week, and served on the President’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

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