Loic is an accomplished entrepreneur – he founded uBlog (merged with Six Apart), organizes the annual Le Web conference and has now created Seesmic (note that I’m an investor in Seesmic) . So even though he’s French, his advice, when given, is worth listening to.
Included in the article are his ten rules for startup success. Reprinted below.
- Don’t wait for a revolutionary idea. It will never happen. Just focus on a simple, exciting, empty space and execute as fast as possible
- Share your idea. The more you share, the more you get advice and the more you learn. Meet and talk to your competitors.
- Build a community. Use blogging and social software to make sure people hear about you.
- Listen to your community. Answer questions and build your product with their feedback.
- Gather a great team. Select those with very different skills from you. Look for people who are better than you.
- Be the first to recognise a problem. Everyone makes mistakes. Address the issue in public, learn about and correct it.
- Don’t spend time on market research. Launch test versions as early as possible. Keep improving the product in the open.
- Don’t obsess over spreadsheet business plans. They are not going to turn out as you predict, in any case.
- Don’t plan a big marketing effort. It’s much more important and powerful that your community loves the product.
- Don’t focus on getting rich. Focus on your users. Money is a consequence of success, not a goal.