Doc, Can you save our Business Plan?

     

In Professor Glazer's informal talk with a bunch of students he narrated his experience working with startups and his reputation as "Business Plan Doctor". When many of the startups whose business plans get rejected, turn to Glazer for help. He described how the typical call would go,

Founders: We heard you are the business plan doctor could you help us?
Glazer: Let me ask you something about your business plan.
You say in your plan you have a great product,
you describe the founders as smart people from Berkeley and Stanford,
in the market section you show hockey stick growth,
and in your competitor section you have three words, There is none.

Founders: (very excited that they got the right guy), Yes on all, so would you help?

Glazer: I just told you what the problem is. Your market description and competitor section do not agree. Any market that is growing at the rate you describe is going to have competitors. Saying there is none convinces the VCs that either you did not do your work or that the market isn't really there. If you think it is indeed a new product with no competitors think about the substitutes. No one is going to believe you when you say there are no competitors. When there are no competitors there are no customers too.

—Rags

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