There are differing opinions in the academic literature regarding the value of pre and post-launch planning. The planning school argues that a formal approach to planning, including the writing of a business plan, leads to superior performance. An opposing view argues that learning should be emphasized over planning, and that planning actually has downsides, including a reluctance to deviate from the plan even in light of evidence that the plan may not be working (Mullins & Komisar, 2009).

This study looks at how much pre-launch and post-launch planning takes place in startup firms, and the difference that it makes. Also of interest is the degree to which entrepreneurs iterate their plans after their businesses are launched.