At Social Innovation blog:
Discovery driven planning is a distinct and unique paradigm of business development. It provides an alternative means of business development in an environment marred with uncertainty. Many new ventures that begin in such climates fail because the basic tenants of the business are assumed to be correct even though there is no historical precedent against which these tenants can be compared. I prefer to look at discovery driven planning as a means of giving the social entrepreneur tools when vying for market space and fiscal sustainability. In some respects I feel it is working a bit backwards.
Traditionally, one builds a business model with projections of ultimate returns based upon the model. The entrepreneur then judges the ultimate success or failure of the organization by how it fared in contrast to projections. When using discovery driven planning, the ultimate goal is to spend as little as possible while attaining the largest informational and experiential returns. The entrepreneur also begins at the end in terms of social impact and returns and works backwards through building the organization. It is a model of perpetual experimentation, trial and error, and exploration that could prove very valuable.
The techniques used in discovery driven planning facilitate ongoing information attainment and could help in the creation of an organization that is strategically placed, competitive, and purposeful with credible milestones and salient direction. This can save a social start up tremendous losses because the venture begins by thinking about its bottom line in terms of social impact and revenues.