Goal: Solve Real Problems.Address the problem in the person’s own words.Present a solution that clearly solves the problem.Make it as simple as possible.
Real Story: IM Smarter“Revolutionary, patent-pending SOCKS5 proxy to transparentlyenhance all four major instant messaging protocols, includingOSCAR (AIM+ICQ), MSN, and Yahoo! Messenger!”....*crickets*
Real Story: PBwiki => PBworks“Wikis are great!” => early adopters @ $50/yr“This helps me manage my agency’s RFIs.” => $50,000/yr
Corollary: Avoid WasteDon’t build until you need to: “steal” tools as needed.Validate the need: ideally sell before you build.Avoid solving scaling issues until you’re blocked on them.
No Code?Craigslist v1: just a mailing list.Yahoo v1: static HTML directory.Could your startup get off the group with a mailing list? e.g. Social Travel Network?Start with Excel, Google Docs, SurveyMonkey, Facebook...
Reskin a Library?Meebo = libpurple (Gaim)Mint = YodleeYouTube = Flash Media Encoder
What if my Code Sucks?Napster = Shawn Fanning’s first Windows program.LiveJournal = started as a CGI script.
Shouldn’t I Wait to Launch?You’re probably building the wrong thing.You need to start the clock on becoming a world expert!Over-engineering a launch can kill a company. e.g. There.com, Duke Nukem ForeverLaunches are over-rated!
IN “STEALTH” >6 MONTHS? You’re doing it wrong.