One cannot go on a journey without identifying the destination! And identifying the destination needs significant amount of thinking, making decisions about where you wish to end-up, and ultimately coming up with course of action to get there. Coming from corporate strategy background this step should come to me naturally... but not to fast!
Every time I start planning, I can hear the Bay area start-up community and founders all screaming at me: "control freak", "old school MBA", "corporate strategy junkie", "non spontaneous", "non entrepreneur", "non agile", "non lean", and many other "non-things" freak! Start the journey, build some guiding principles and the destination will shape-up as you move with agility and refine your path, just like "How Google Works"!
Let me tell you something, I wondered too long and too close to the fence of non planning school of thoughts and doubted the need for a "strategy" and "planning"! It was all the San Francisco "fog" that clouded my judgment! You see, when you move to the San Francisco area, there is a fog (pun intended) that clouds your judgment. You wonder how come all these startups are successful without a whole pack of experienced, formally MBA trained, Ivey-school graduates. You then talk to people, listen to them and hear about agile start-ups who do not go through any formal planning processes. You read about how strategic planning is doomed to fail and gradually start to believe in all those fairy tales. The reality is, there will always be examples to prove ones case against the need for planning, strategy and the need to get clear about the destination your are moving toward and I don't intend to write about them here, but I'm starting my journey with a clear definition of where the "destination" is and how it looks like. In other words, there would be no journey without it! As the journey starts there will be too many distractions that will cloud our judgment and will take us away from the path to our destination. I promise to you there will be always new ideas and possibilities, different people, cities, and markets, another article to read, another person to network with, a new email to answer, a new problem to solve, a new phone call to make, or a new destination to move toward... So without knowing where you are planning to go and defining it well you will not get there. Or even if you'll get there somehow, you will pay a heavy toll to do so. Before I go back to the journey of zero to one and define the "one" destination of this journey, let me get all of this fog-induced anger out of my system and tell you the first rule of the journey from "zero to one" is to define the destination as clear as possible and don't ever let the fog cloud your judgment.
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