alex osterwalder

Start Ups 2014: Generation of Entrepreneurs Without a Business Plan?

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Business Plan
Business Plan? Strategy? Product development plan? Financial plan?



I was invited for “The Hot Seat Sessions” at The Hub in Singapore this month.

Members of The Hub can book a time slot to talk about challenges/problems they are facing:

In The Hot Seat with Patrick Nelissen

Get your one-on-one consultancy with experts in specific fields (eg. mobile, social media, branding, funding, etc.) to answer the challenges/problems you are currently facing. Book your time with Patrick, specialist in: marketing, sales, business development, business improvement and entrepreneurship

Every month, experts from The Hub community jump into the hot seat, and are available exclusively for members of The Hub weekly for two hours.
This July, join Patrick Nelissen in the Hot Seat for some sage advice!

Most of the members are start ups and have many ideas about new (innovative) products. They are super enthusiastic, strongly convinced, very detailed, full of energy, probably the next Facebook or or Google or Tripadvisor, hopefully disruptive, highly motivated, etc.

So talking with them is really great. It gives you a lot of energy and is also challenging because you are aware about their vulnerability at this stage.

Now that I’ve done a number of meetings with start ups, I’ve come to realize that none of these start ups has a business plan, product development plan and/or financial plan. And this is no exception. Already in The Netherlands I experienced a lack of motivation and sense at entrepreneurs to write a business plan. It was always a struggle to get them thinking and writing about how they want to execute their business.

I realize that good writers aren’t always the best entrepreneurs and vice versa. But the good thing about writing a business plan is that you have to step back to get a holistic look about your product, pricing model, personnel, distribution channel, customers and competitors. Based on this holistic look, you are able to define the best strategy and business model to launch your product. The result is: reducing vulnerability!

Fortunately, there are models for condensed business plans. My favourite is Business Canvas Model from Alex Osterwalder. Author of Business Model Generation. Business Model Generation is a practical, inspiring handbook for anyone striving to improve a business model – or craft a new one.

Other good options are:

  • The One Page Business Plan from Jim Horan. Jim is the author of “The One Page Business Plan” the best selling business planning book on He is also the developer of The One Page Planning and Performance System.
  • The $100 Start Up from Chris Guillebeau. A guideway to show you how to lead a life of adventure, meaning and purpose — and earn a good living.



Give yourself a break, take a blank sheet and start outlining your business model (on 1 page). It will:

  • Make your business stronger
  • Keep you focused
  • Reduce your vulnerability
  • And it’s fun to do: it’s the journey not the destination what counts!


PS some other recommendable books (thanks to