Fred Wilson’s recent post A VC: Evolution vs. Intelligent Design discusses the difference between a startup that is planned, versus a startup that evolves. He hints but doesn’t directly say that a lot of the new startups are succeeding due to the fact that they are evolving instead of planning some huge business from the start.
But why? Here are my reasons:
1. Evolution means they’re starting small and not spending a ton of money.
2. The space moves too fast for plans made in advance to work out.
3. The more “cooks in the kitchen” the more problems and less coherent a business can become.
4. The users determine where the business should go. del.icio.us users help determine what should be developed. The service didn’t launch with 1000 features, they just add what’s being requested, which keeps it simple but increases it’s utility with features people ACTUALLY want.
5. “Intelligent Design” planning just often isn’t as intelligent as we’d like to believe.