- 90% of Millennials today would rather choose a start-up over a lucrative corporate job in the world’s best business hubs
- If you stick to a plan too meticulously, you’re not able to adapt to new opportunities that present themselves
- The traditional methods of running a business no longer guarantee success – rather aim for short-term optimisation over long-term success and innovation.
90% of entrepreneurially-minded Millennials prefer running their own company over being employed. Millennials are choosing start-ups over big corporates. They want to work in agile, innovative environments. Add to that the fact that agile companies are taking over the world – think Netflix and LinkedIn – and there’s a strong case to throw out the 5-year plan.
“If you stick to a plan very fastidiously, you are not going to be able to adapt to new opportunities that present themselves,” says Tim Ferriss, entrepreneur and author of bestselling book The 4-Hour Workweek. “Responding to success and building upon it isn’t possible within a fixed path.”
The ‘five-year’ part of your original plan may need a complete overhaul – or to be done away with completely.
The big idea: Experimentation over planning
LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman famously said, if you aren’t embarrassed by your first version, you launched too late, which is the cornerstone of the lean start-up methodology. Unlike conventional product development and testing, lean start-up says you need to get into the market as quickly as possible so that you can start testing it in a real-world environment.
When Reed Hastings started Netflix, he aimed for short-term optimisation over long-term success and innovation. “Building Netflix, we created a company that tolerated some short-term chaos, and we manage right at the edge of chaos,” he says.
“The value of that is keeping and stimulating the amazing thinkers, so when the market shifts, like DVD to streaming, or licence to original content, we have in Netflix all kinds of original thinkers, and that is the long-term optimisation that all of us in organisations want.”
What’s in it for you: Increase growth and efficiency
Lean start-up practices aren’t just for young techpreneurs. Powerhouses like General Electric and Intuit have also started implementing them. Being lean means building on a concept quickly, establishing whether it’s commercially viable, then deciding whether to pivot or persevere with the current plan.
“The traditional methods of running a business no longer guarantee success,” says Adam Fridman, founder of Mabbly. “In order to keep up with the fast-pace culture of small businesses and entrepreneurs, big businesses need to adopt lean start-up methods to stay ahead of the curve.”
Make it happen
Growth hacking Influencer and Start-up Coach Ehsan Jahandarpour gives 3 alternatives to formulating hypotheses and crafting them into a long-term plan of success:
- Anticipate change. Never fall in love with your first business model, as an entrepreneur, change is your greatest ally. Time is often against you, so don’t waste it on perfecting your first business model.
- Iterate often. Listening to your customer feedback and iterate accordingly. Who knows, you might even end up developing something totally different in comparison with your initial idea.
- Adapt to market demands or pivot whenever necessary. Don’t count too much on what you think is going to work.