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Chapter 2 September 10, 2008

Filed under: Getting Real — hikaru011 @ 8:57 am
Tags: ,

Build less

It is said that to beat your competitors you need to one-up them. This one-upping state of mind is a dead-end. A defensive company can only think behind and not think ahead. They just follow.

To beat a competitor, do less. Try solving simple problems and leave the huge problems to others. Try downing instead of one-upping.

What’s Your Problem?

A great way to build software is to start solving your own problems.

When you are solving your problems, you create tools that you are passionate about. Passion means you’ll truly use it and care about it.

Fund Yourself

The first priority of many startups is acquiring funding from investors.

Outside Money is Plan B

But do remember that if you get your funds from outsiders you’ll have to pay them back and so expectations are raised.

I read about what Jake Walker, has started one company with investor money (Disclive) and one without (The Show), said as he discusses differences between two paths.

“The root of all the problems wasn’t raising money itself, but everything that came along with it. The expectations are simply higher. People start taking salary, and motivation is to build it up sell it, or find some other way for the initial investors to make their money back. In the case of the first company, we simply started acting much bigger than we were – out of necessity… “

Fix Time and Budget, Flex Scope

A way to launch on time and on budget is to keep them fixed. Never throw more time or more money at a problem, just scale back the scope.

If you can fit everything in within the time and budget allotted then don’t expand the time and budget.

Benefits of fixing time and budget:

  • Prioritization
  • Reality
  • Flexibility

Have an Enemy

Projects turn out better when everyone takes collective ownership of the process.

But do remember that it is important not get too obsessed with the competition. Overanalyzed other products and you’ll start to limit the way you think.

Its shouldn’t be a Chore

it should be your passion.

Enthusiasm manifests itself readily of course, but indifference is equally indelible. If your commitment doesn’t encompass a genuine passion for the work at hand, it becomes a void that is almost impossible to conceal, no matter how elaborately or attractively designed it is.

—Khoi Vinh


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