Monday, January 21, 2008

All-Purpose Business Plan Template

I am taking Management 629, aka "Business Plan Development and the New Enterprise." Coincidentally, I am reading a book called Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. My team project in MGMT 629 will be to make a business plan. How very fortunate for me that Cryptonomicon has a generic all-purpose business plan as part of its story! It starts like this:

MISSION: At [name of company] it is our conviction that [to do the stuff we want to do] and to increase shareholder value are not merely complimentary activities--they are inextricably linked.
PURPOSE: To increase shareholder value by [doing stuff]

Phase 1: After taking vows of celibacy and abstinence and foregoing all of our material possessions for homespun robes, we (viz. appended resumes) will move into our modest complex of scavenged refirgerator boxes in the central Gobi Desert, where real estate is so cheap that we are actually being paid to occupy it, thereby increasing shareholder value even before we have actually done anything. On a daily ration consisting of a handful of uncooked rice and a ladleful of water, we will [begin to do stuff].


SPREADSHEETS: [Pages and pages of numbers in tiny print, conveniently summarized by graphs that all seem to be exponential curves screaming heavenward, albeit with enough pseudo-random noise in them to lend plausibility].
RESUMES: Just recall the opening reel of The Magnificent Seven and you won't have to bother with this part; you should crawl to us on hands and knees and beg us for the privilege of paying our salaries.

I wonder how my professor, who is in the VC business, would like seeing a business plan like that? The MISSION and the PURPOSE seem highly realistic.

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