Planning is overwhelming, it's hard to know where to begin. One solution I've picked up is 'anti-planning'; write out all the actions you'd take if you wanted to ensure failure. It's far easier to remember the background to past disasters than to understand why things succeeded. With those fresh in your mind you'll find drawing up an actual plan much simpler. It's also great to keep pinned to your notice-board, to remind yourself when you do start wandering towards one of those seductive traps.
Here's how I'd sabotage my startup, in 10 easy steps:
- Get distracted by every shiny new idea and forget what my big goal is
- Leave my product to sell itself; build it and they will come, right?
- Have no idea who my customers are
- When I describe what I'm building, focus on the technology
- Worry about my grand strategy, not the logistics of executing
- Spend more time meeting with investors than customers
- Build features customers don't want
- Focus on minor bug fixes
- Ignore people who want to help
- Rely on my intuition to tell what's working, not dull metrics