Starting a business is exciting.

There is so much to be done.  Planning, building a revenue model, creating a budget, and developing branding are all important parts of starting a business, right?

According to Eric Tobias, founder of iGoDigital those things are a waste of time in the very early stages. Speaking to a packed house at Verge the other night, he said it is easy for entrepreneurs to get distracted by those elements before the know if they have a product anyone will want.   His advice was simple:

  1. Build a prototype
  2. Go get a customer
  3. Don’t do anything that does’t involve #1 or #2

This was hard for me to agree with because I write business plans for living and teach small business owners how to do it themselves.  The more he spoke, the move convinced I am that he is right.   All the spread sheets in the world, with fabulous hockey stick shaped projections are meaningless if no one will buy the product.  I am not giving up on my belief that business owners should have a plan, I just think they should have a product first.