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Peter Whalen and Samuel S. Holloway, (2012). Harvard Business Review, 25(Oct.).


Traditional marketing planning (TMP) activities have been a mainstay for the past four decades, but the theories behind them have limited relevance for new ventures facing extreme uncertainty. The old routine of analyzing existing markets, predicting an optimal outcome, and then designing marketing plans to capture that outcome is too slow and cumbersome for today’s startups. A new concept, hypercycle planning, has been designed based on a theory of market effectuation.  Hypercycle plans are quicker, less complex, sales oriented, means driven and action minded.  These plans promote fast learning — even through failure — rather than the use of traditional marketing research designed to predict future markets.