Ten Rules for Web Startups

Evan Williams, Ten Rules for Web StartupsAfter selling Pyra (Blogger) to Google, Evan Williams has went on to found Odeo, which was kind of a bust, and Twitter, which is storming all over the web. Never heard of Twitter? Well that's cool, I'm sure it's not for everyone, but if you have, tell me what you think, leave a comment if you're already using it and let me know what you think. I'm trying to figure out if there is any life for Twitter in Puerto Rico.

Anyway, after selling Pyra and eventually leaving Google, Evan penned these ten rules, which I've greatly shortened, so I recommend reading all he has to say about them. I share them here for two reasons. First, for the most part, we're trying to follow as many of them as possible. So you'll understand a little more about where we are coming from. But second, also because I still fundamentally believe that we need to grow the web start-up industry in Puerto Rico. I believe that it can provide a significant boost to the Puerto Rico economy. And, in my opinion, if more new Puerto Rico web companies followed these rules we would have more success stories than we do.

Ten Rules for Web Startups

#1: Be Narrow
Focus on the smallest possible problem you could solve that would potentially be useful.

#2: Be Different
There are lots of people thinking about—and probably working on—the same thing you are. So pick a catchy name for your business, specialize (see #1), and accept that that no sufficiently interesting space will be limited to one player.

#3: Be Casual
If you want to hit the really big home runs, create services that fit in with—and, indeed, help—people's everyday lives without requiring lots of commitment or identity change.

#4: Be Picky
Another perennial business rule, and it applies to everything you do: features, employees, investors, partners, press opportunities.

#5: Be User-Centric
User experience is everything.

#6: Be Self-Centered
Great products almost always come from someone scratching their own itch. Create something you want to exist in the world.

#7: Be Greedy
Design something to charge for into your product and start taking money within 6 months

#8: Be Tiny
Keep your valuation as low as possible, because it doesn't cost much to start something anymore (especially if you keep the scope narrow, again see #1).

#9: Be Agile
Many web companies that die could have eventually been successful had they been able to adjust and change their plans.

#10: Be Balanced
Nature requires balance for health—as do the bodies and minds who work for you and, without which, your company will be worthless.

Many Thanks To Our (Celebrity) Flickr Creative Commons Contributor Today: Joi