Here are some observations I’ve made over the past week. Most of these have been true for a long time and will continue to be true for a long time. Nonetheless, I just learned (or re-learned) them recently. What lessons have you learned recently?
- Put yourself out there. Success is still (and always will be) about personal connections. Actively seek out new connections. Go to meet ups and conferences. Don’t be shy. People are the world’s greatest resource: they are your sounding board, your marketing firm, your user base. Embrace them.
- Keep It Simple, Stupid (aka, “The KISS Protocol”). Your next great idea is probably too big—simplify it, get it out there, generate feedback (see #1), and iterate. Getting something out there and starting a conversation will always be more valuable than weeks of brainstorming all holed up in your apartment, wild-eyed and crazy-haired.
- Trampoline off the efforts of others: seek out and make use of the wealth of data- and service-related APIs on the web. (This also gets back to #2 and helps you keep in simple.)
- Finally, follow your nose and have fun! Make something you think is cool. For one thing, this will help you when it comes to promotion: genuine enthusiasm on your part will probably get other people interested too. For another, this will enable you to create a better product: when it’s your baby and you love it, you are going to do your best to make it look and feel great.