Why should I plan?

Why should I plan?

I have always been a big planner, but I have planned to be flexible.

My style of planning is: today I am going to achieve this, that and the other — then I recieve a phone call/email and that all changes.

In the back of my car I have a drawer with 2 spare sets of clothes (training gear and nice casual gear, food, tool, medical kit etc… I also have a pillow, sleeping bag, matress, picnic mat and tarpoline. I bring my laptop EVERYWHERE and often have approrpriate stuff located locally (eg websites that I am developing are on my hard drive).

I was reading this article on 37signals.com and thought that their way of “not planning” is my way of “planning to be flexible”. Some memorable quotes:

  • At the end of every interview someone inevitably asks “Where do you see 37signals in five years? Ten years? 20 years?” My answer remains the same: “Still in business. Beyond that I have no idea.”
  • Planning it all out beforehand puts too much faith in the unknown. You know more about something while you’re doing it than before you’ve started. Just as we don’t much about the product we’re going to build before we build it, we don’t know much about the business opportunities before they happen. Books, plans, and documents may tell you how things should be, but only real experience tells you how things really are.
  • “But if you don’t know where you’re going how are you going to get there.” We don’t know where we’re going. We know where we are. For us, what’s next is what’s now and what’s now is probably what’s next. Today’s weather is the best indicator of tomorrow’s weather. Things change, but not as much or as fast as most think. Focusing too much on the stuff that changes is why many companies lose their way. They’re always tripping over themselves as they try to keep pace with what’s new. People want what works, not what’s new.
  • Focus on what won’t change: the best business advice I’ve ever heard was this: “Focus on the things that won’t change.” Today and ten years from now people will still want simple things that work. Today and ten years from now people will still want fast software. Today and ten years from now people will still want fair prices. I don’t believe we’ll have a “I want complex, slow, and expensive products” revolution in 2017.

Read on here: The 5, 10, 20 year plan

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