9 thoughts on “Do as I say, not as I did”

  1. Mistake #2 is really the one to avoid, although it goes hand-in-hand with #5. I’ve had that nagging feeling in past ventures that I’d be a skeptical buyer, and it’s hard to recover from that position.}

  2. Mistake #2 is a pretty big one to avoid.

    If you aren’t a target user, you’ll need to hire people who are. This increases cost, decreases your ability to advise, strategize, and manage the business and development effort, and also means you can’t effectively employ an organic, fluidly moving product development method.

    By this, I mean that many products are created by teams of 1-2 people who are developing constantly on the fly and on instinct. They modify, tweak, add and delete from the product as they are developing. No product plans. No schedule. Just instinct. It’s the fastest way to getting to first release of a cool product. You add people, you slow down, increase discussion and arguing time, and increase the risk of a competitor trouncing you with faster development.}

  3. I always listen to my gut. Always. It never fails. Great article! I agree on raising too much. Agility is the #1 thing, in my opinion, to surviving internet business.}

  4. I agree with Patricia. Go with your gut. In software use rapid development, test, revise cycles.

    Avoid scope creep. Do lots of mini-upgrades. It is better customer service & gives you a relevant message to engage your users in a conversation around.

    Keep your product roadmap fluid. Don’t let your developers take things to the 95% stage then move on. I always picture Steve Jobs insisting on perfect aesthetic design (my gut says the iPhone still needs work).

    There are lots of mistakes you can make in business. What is your value innovation? Aim for ones where you have no competitors and are able to effectively capture its value. What is your sales + marketing plan?

    Only then do things like managing development come in to play. As for VC, either they believe or they don’t. If you overwhelm them with product info, assume they’ll say no.}

  5. wow, is this a gem of an article.. thanks so much!

    Though the article touches on this, I think it is really important to emphasize the K.I.S.S principle. One always needs to remind him/herself that users are somewhat lazy (no offence, I am too) and want to avoid any learning curve so the less the input, the less the buttons to hit, the better the overall product and the more the happy users.
    It is something that you really understand fully as you go through the process yourselves I guess :)}

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