First Ideas Rarely Ever Work

Many successful companies have transformed into companies that didn’t look anything like the original business plan had laid out.

In fact, it’s very rare for a successful company to stick with the original business plan and follow through on it.

This is the commonality amongst all successful businesses.

William Wrigley for example, was an American chewing gum industrialist, but he didn’t start out in gum.

In the beginning, the primary products that Wrigley sold was soap and baking powder.

With every purchase made, Wrigley would give away a free piece of chewing gum.

Wrigley did this until he realized that the chewing gum he gave away for free was more popular than the products he was actually selling.

Another example is Humans of New York, which is the popular photojournalistic blog that has amassed an audience of over 20 million people.

Humans of New York uses quotes as a way to story tell the lives of people in New York, such as the one down below.

In the beginning however, the individual behind Humans of New York only used pictures of people without the quotes.

It wasn’t until way later that the individual behind H.O.N.Y. decided to start adding quotes to his pictures, which is what started making Humans of New York so popular.

The list goes on and on.

Twitter started out as a podcast service called Odeo. Flickr started out as a game called Game Neverending. And Groupon was originally a socially responsible fundraising site called The Point.

In the book “The Start-Up J Curve,” Howard Love says,

“Most entrepreneurs believe that their original business plan will work; much of the start-up literature appears to share this belief. As veteran investors, however, David and I had learned that the original plan almost never works. In fact, it’s my belief, backed up by many conversations with start-up veterans, that drastic (not incremental) revisions to the original business plan happen in over 80% of successful start-ups. It struck us that if entrepreneurs entered their start-ups with realistic expectations – if they recognized that they would have to revise their original plan at least once (and probably twice or three times) and if they knew what to do along the road – then they would vastly increase their chances for success.”

Understand that your original plan will rarely ever work out. Most likely, you will have to revise and edit your original idea multiple times.

In the same way that Twitter, Wrigley Gum, and Humans of New York all started out as different ideas, but then changed over time, you too will also have to be prepared to adapt and evolve as well.



12 thoughts on “First Ideas Rarely Ever Work

    1. I’m a believer that plans rarely ever work out. It’s like Mike Tyson once said, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” This is why it’s better to have a strategy and be adaptable, instead of having a plan and being stubborn.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s not only huge start-ups, but even writing holds the same procedure. The most basic, naive and first draft of writing hardly reaches at the final stage as the way it initially was. Number of drafts are finalised before the final one is actually fianlised. 😀
    Fantastic. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree. conditions and circumstances change, which means that you have to be able to adapt along with it. This is why original plans rarely work out because plans assume that everything else will remain constant, when they don’t. But like you said, how you should adapt means being able to analyze on a regular basis

      Liked by 1 person

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