You have heard this old saying many times: “Measure Twice and Cut Once.”

It’s totally true. But sometimes the big boys forget this. You heard about Netflix deciding to spin off into two companies, Netflix and Qwikster – and that they quickly decided how stupid that was and went back to just Netflix.

The New York Times asked Reed Hastings, Netflix’ president, “But wasn’t introducing Qwikster the way you did the most arrogant move of all?”

His reply: “No, I think it was just a mistake in underestimating the depth of emotional attachment to Netflix.

I venture to say few would say they have an emotional attachment to Netflix. Mr. Hastings’ response reflects just a touch of arrogance. (Link to interview.)

The lack of planning like this cost Netflix’ shareholders dearly. As of this writing, the company’s stock fell from more than $300 in July to only $111.

The bottom line is that it’s really good to examine your plan – with any significant venture or initiative you are planning. Bring others alongside early in the timetable. Ask people outside the intended users of your project. They may find problems insiders won’t see.

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