Certain things require a plan B, ex: rescue missions, wars, campaigning for an election, getting out of personal financial debt, science experiments etc. But i’m not convinced that startups can adequately plan for a “B” scenario.
To be clear, I think having “tactical” plan B’s are important but having “strategic” plan B’s are a serious waste of time. If you don’t understand the difference between strategy and tactics, read about it here. The difference is, you can’t adequately plan for a B scenario when it comes to the big picture but you can and should have a plan B for the path that gets you to your end point. Here’s what I think happens when you give yourself a strategic plan B…
Plan B gives you an excuse not to commit to your decision because you give yourself a way out.
Plan B will get you to rabbit-hole yourself into a plan C, D, E, F… so you end up focusing on planning for failures instead of focusing on whittling away at plan A until you break through it.
Plan B could lead to you being impatient and not giving plan A a real shot at being successful.
Plan B gives you the illusion of being fail-safe and bulletproof.
Plan B contaminates and curdles your mission and it clouds your judgement because you become unsure as to where you want your company to end up.
Plan B puts a fork in the road and confuses the journey.
Plan B begs the question “what and who are we fighting for?”
If your big picture needs to be rethought, do it when you can answer for all the variables in play. and when you KNOW plan A just isn’t going to work. Strategically planning for an A and a B scenario all at once is counterintuitive.