Plans are always wrong. Planning is always right!

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”
Lewis Caroll

As an expansion stage investor, our focus is on getting companies through the expansion stage of their development to become solid growth stage companies and eventually execute a company exit strategy.

As companies raise expansion capital and evolve through the expansion stage, the one constant is change. The company changes through its product development, go-to-market development, and organizational and operational development, and there is also constant change with the competitors and the target customers (who are evolving through an experience curve with the product set).

Because of all the change, plans, particularly long term plans, are difficult to get right. Some companies punt by not developing longer term aspirations (e.g., mission, vision, values), strategies and plans. But the best expansion stage companies, particularly companies with sold venture capital advisers (or other solid advisors or experienced management teams), develop long term targets and well baked plans, work with a high sense of urgency to execute the plans, and then step back periodically and make adjustments to their plans based upon results and changes with competitors and target customers.

The planning cycle is somewhat frustrating and takes a lot of discipline, but it allows the growing employee base to get into alignment, aim at targeted results, and put all of its energy against attaining the targets, and then check results, reflect on them, review, prioritize, plan and execute again.

Marc Andreessen, who has had great results as an entrepreneur and recently raised a venture capital fund, puts planning quite well in this video.

Scott Maxwell
Scott Maxwell
Founder & Partner

As the founder of OpenView, Scott focuses on distinctive business models and products that uniquely address a meaningful market pain point. This includes a broad interest in application and infrastructure companies, and businesses that are addressing the next generation of technology, including SaaS, cloud computing, mobile platforms, storage, networking, IT tools, and development tools.
You might also like ...
4 Tips for Setting Your Company's Annual Rhythm

Every company starts the new year with big goals and aspirations. But how many of those companies actually accomplish them?

by Kristin Hillery
Product Marketing
How to Get Your First 100 Customers—Smart, Actionable Advice from Top Executives

Leaders from Twilio, IBM, SurveyMonkey and more share their best tips.

by Casey Renner
Startup Strategy
We Explored 3 Product Positioning and Branding Failures. Here’s What NOT to Do.

B2B brand and product positioning will only continue to become more important with the rise of the End User Era.

by Margaret Kelsey