Before we begin I want to say that if you have the time, buy and read the book. It’s great source of how-to and how-not-to do a business. It breaks a lot of business myths and builds stable foundation for creating a product the right way.
I’ll write down the key points I found intriguing as a reference to which I can come back. Hopefully it can be helpful to you too.
1. Find your passion and go!
What is the thing that makes your blood boil? Passion for what you build is the most important asset you have. Find it and start, there is big chance there are other people out there who share the same passion. Reach out - blog, tweet, talk about your passion, find people that want to listen to you. Share what you learn on the way - sharing is caring. Create something that you need, there are people who need the same.
2. Failure vs. Success
It’s a common believe that it’s okay to fail, however the mass acceptance of it creates a negative vibe which does cause more people to fail. Be different, believe in your passion, believe in your success and it will come. We learn a great bunch more while being successful, rather than accepting failure and trying again.
3. Ignore the real world
Don’t listen to conventional wisdom that tells you “this is not going to work”, if you have a good gut feeling and passion about something just do it.
4. Yes, go! Do!
Passion by itself is not enough, idea by itself is nothing. What matters the most is the execution of the idea. Again, sit on your bottom and do, don’t find excuses in “not having enough time” or “not having enough money”. You don’t have to have big wallet, hundreds of employees or five-years-ahead business plan. It’s all about keeping it simple. Rework the way you work.
5. Start from the core
Be as lean as possible, find your core feature. Make it simple, make it stand out, don’t bury it behind dozen other features. Less is more. People understand simplicity, that’s why they love it. Don’t throw in more and more features to make all people like you, focus on one feature, make it perfect and a handful of people will adore you.
6. Don’t lose your focus on planning
You’ve just started. You shouldn’t focus on what could be and guessing what it will be, rather sit on your bottom and build the product. Nowadays we live in a dynamic world where things change every day, that makes it almost impossible to create a good plan. Take actions instead of making plans. We are bad estimators. When you estimate a project to be several months long, probably it will take twice as much. Break it down, split the big project into easier and simpler steps that can be done in several days. Building step by step will do you good.
7. It’s time to launch
You already started building your product, probably it’s time to launch. Remember one thing - put it out there. That’s the only way to validate an idea, that’s the only way to get feedback. You might think that it’s not ready yet, but most probably you are wrong. Do you have your core feature ready? Don’t add more features, cut them out. Lean is what you should go after - lean and mean!
8. Don’t be in a hurry to grow
Again, keep it as lean and as simple as possible. Don’t add new features or employees if you don’t absolutely need them. Premature will to grow might cause dramatic failure. Take your time, focus and think. Furthermore, being small makes it easier to change the direction of your product. There are less people that know you, which implies less responsibilities. That results in more flexibility, which even big companies try to achieve.
9. Stand high
Have a point of view, a strong opinion that defines you, your idea and your business. Create an identity for your product, that’s what will attract customers and supporters. Once you’ve build your identity, stand behind it. Live up to the expectations you set with it. No one likes a liar!
10. Distractions are your enemy, focus!
People always complain that they don’t have time while that’s not true. Everyone has enough time, but people tend to be distracted quite easily. When you do a task focus on it, and only on it and this will increase your productivity. Switching between different tasks in a short interval of time is costly operation, we are not robots, don’t multi-task, focus instead. Furthermore, don’t concentrate on what your competition does, don’t soak into their ideas, because you become a follower. You want to be a leader instead, don’t get interrupted being yourself, focus!
11. Ask yourself questions to make sure you are on the right track
Those are several of the questions 37Signals suggests:
- Why are you doing this?
- What problem are you solving?
- Is this actually useful?
- Is there an easier way?
- What could you be doing instead?
Think. Focus. Start.
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