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New Disclosure…

So the boxes are mostly unpacked, I have a new driver’s license and keys to the new office. About time to get back in the blogging saddle.

A new disclosure: I’ve invested in Seesmic, a Web video company that in my view has the potential to take conversational online video to a new level. The company’s founder, Loic LeMeur, is a friend and a top European Internet entrepreneur.

He has 10 rules for startup success, which I’m reprinting below:

  1. 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
  2. Share your idea. The more you share, the more you get advice and the more you learn. Meet and talk to your competitors.
  3. Build a community. Use blogging and social software to make sure people hear about you.
  4. Listen to your community. Answer questions and build your product with their feedback.
  5. Gather a great team. Select those with very different skills from you. Look for people who are better than you.
  6. Be the first to recognise a problem. Everyone makes mistakes. Address the issue in public, learn about and correct it.
  7. Don’t spend time on market research. Launch test versions as early as possible. Keep improving the product in the open.
  8. Don’t obsess over spreadsheet business plans. They are not going to turn out as you predict, in any case.
  9. Don’t plan a big marketing effort. It’s much more important and powerful that your community loves the product.
  10. Don’t focus on getting rich. Focus on your users. Money is a consequence of success, not a goal.

Great stuff, and I hope my new students will take it to heart.

3 Comments on “New Disclosure…”

  1. #1 Ten Rules for Startup Success at Ghost of Midnight
    on Jan 10th, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    […] Dan Gillmor repeats Loic LeMeur’s 10 rules for startup success: […]

  2. #2 Seth Finkelstein
    on Jan 10th, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Yeah, right, and always look on the bright side of life and let a smile be your umbrella …

    I kind of like the glurge-parody which has:

    Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself,
    And heed well their advice, even though they be turkeys.
    Know what to kiss, and when.

    Oh well, I understand the business-model well enough now …

  3. #3 Delia
    on Jan 10th, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    agree with Seth…


    P.S. my advice… skip the BS! if you are going to go for profit, do it straight and honest! (or find something else to do….) if you wouldn’t do it if there wasn’t money to be made, don’t insinuate you would! unless you are playing a scam artist in a movie (or you want to be regarded as one…) D.