Some entrepreneurs shrug off the question of where they want their business to end up.
“What’s your exit plan?”
“I don’t really want to plan that far ahead. It’s unrealistic to try to map that out. We just want to build a great company.”
I can understand the logic – cart before the horse – but if you don’t envision where you want to be, how can you possibly adjust your course while on the journey? I have talked before about a leader being the captain of a ship, always adjusting and tweaking the journey to ensure that the ship is going to reach its destination. A leader without an exit plan is like a captain without a map.
Where people get confused is the specifics of the end goal. I’m not saying that Steve Jobs needed to envision in 1976 that he’d create the iPad. Obviously he never could have foreseen that. However, he knew he wanted to create the best consumer electronics company in the world, focusing on creating the best user experience possible. That was his vision and he did everything in order to keep the company on course to achieving it. The iPad was a direct result of that vision.
So my advice to all entrepreneurs is to craft the vision for your company. At Dragon Army, we want to create games that people love to play and become a part of their lives the way that Super Mario and Pac-man have. We’re hoping Robots Love Ice Cream – launched yesterday – helps move us toward that goal. I also have a size/scale goal for the company. Keeping those two things in mind allows me to keep us pointed in the right direction and gives me piece of mind when I have to make important decisions for the business.