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.