In their post “Share ideas to the maximum” on Wednesday, Financial Times has a profile of French (now Silicon Valley) entrepreneur Loïc Le Meur. Why he moved to San Francisco can quickly be summarized as (using his own words);
The way you do partnerships here, everyone’s a block away or 20 minutes away in Palo Alto. If I need to set up a partnership with [micro-blogging service] Twitter, I call them, we have coffee, and two hours later the deal is done. If I were in France, there’s a nine-hour time difference and it’s like you don’t matter.
Included in the post are his ten rules for start-up success. Reprinted below:
- 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
- Share your idea. The more you share, the more you get advice and the more you learn. Meet and talk to your competitors.
- Build a community. Use blogging and social software to make sure people hear about you.
- Listen to your community. Answer questions and build your product with their feedback.
- Gather a great team. Select those with very different skills from you. Look for people who are better than you.
- Be the first to recognise a problem. Everyone makes mistakes. Address the issue in public, learn about and correct it.
- Don’t spend time on market research. Launch test versions as early as possible. Keep improving the product in the open.
- Don’t obsess over spreadsheet business plans. They are not going to turn out as you predict, in any case.
- Don’t plan a big marketing effort. It’s much more important and powerful that your community loves the product.
- Don’t focus on getting rich. Focus on your users. Money is a consequence of success, not a goal.
These “rules” may not fit any business profile, but they do make sense and could very well serve as guidelines for anyone. Feel free to add to these rules or share your success story!