Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Mar 28 2006

I avoid writing a post that’s just a link to another blog post—I feel, like Brennen, that one should contribute content in a blog, not just redirect the reader to other content—but David Seah writes about a lot of the things I’ve been thinking about lately in his recent post, Five Things On My Mind. He writes about his desire to spend more time connected to the physical world, and to do things instead of endlessly think and plan them.

Years ago, when I was thinking of starting software companies and such, I wrote business plans. I never used them. I didn’t write a business plan for Otherspace (well, I noodled around with one, but never wrote more than half of it), and I built that into a ten-person company of skilled aritsts.

As David writes, a business plan or functional spec or any other sort of design document is useful only if it gives you one (or both!) of two things: a clear vision or a simple list of metrics for success. If you already have these, you don’t need the plan.

Comments:

Stephen Plans are always good. They’re like comments in code. Easy to write up if everything is planned correctly and useful for reference. So why not?
Brent Because every minute you spend planning is a minute you could spend implementing. And if the end result isn’t going to help the plan, why bother?
Brent Note: I’m writing here about detailed plans, not scribbling down ideas and generally wrapping one’s head around something.
Stephen But what good is a clear vision or simple list of metrics if you’re the *only* one with them. The thing about a plan is that more than one person can read and make suggestions about it. It’s hard to peer review a goal that all in one person’s head. Plus a vision and a list don’t describe how to reach either of them.

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