With Passover approaching, this refrain may be familiar to some of you. The Four Questions that get asked during the Passover reading of the haggadah are:
Why is this night different from all other nights?
As long as we’re on the theme, don’t forget about the Four Fundamental Questions of Economics:
In my classes to university students, I’ve distilled the startup principles to a pithy set of questions, as well. It’s amazing to me how many pitches I see that don’t answer even these most elementary questions. In the Passover Seder, it is the youngest son (i.e., the least educated) who asks the obvious questions. If you’re starting a business, get answers to these questions before you start pitching your idea. Just as the above sets of questions provide useful rubrics to guide Jews or economists, so too answering the four questions below will guide you to the Promised Land.
Nowhere is it written that getting answers to these questions will be easy, but they are necessary. Whether you follow lean startup principles, are writing a traditional business plan, are asking for a bank loan, or are on the verge of going public, you must answer these four questions. Until you have answers to these questions, you don’t have a business. Once you do, you’re on your way.
The rest is detail….
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