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Real Entrepreneurs Don’t Write Business Plans

Entrepreneurship is about getting out into the world and doing—not simply researching and writing business plans
Entrepreneurship is about getting out into the world and doing—not simply researching and writing business plansPhotograph by Andy Goodwin/Gallery Stock

Steve Blank pities those poor professors stuck teaching tired business plan courses. “I’d be embarrassed if I was on a faculty teaching ‘How to Write a Business Plan for New Ventures,’” says the serial entrepreneur turned business school professor.

Blank is at the forefront of a growing movement of B-school professors teaching the next generation of Mark Zuckerbergs. Entrepreneurship, he argues, is about getting out into the world and doing—not simply researching and writing. “Business plan classes and business plan competitions are dead in the water for new ventures,” says Blank, who authored the cover story in the May 2013 issue of Harvard Business Review on the value of experimentation in building a new business. Blank teaches that gospel in a course called Lean LaunchPad at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Columbia Business School, and Stanford’s engineering school.