I recently listened to an podcast by Dorm Room Tycoon. They interviewed David Heinemeier Hansson about how he manages things on daily basis and what it needs to run a successful company. The following is a round-up of my notes I took while listening:
It's to easy to say "Yes". Make it instead a habit to say "No" by default. You will miss opportunities but it's better to focus on a handful of things than trying to do everything. This gives you the chance to focus on the important stuff. Tell yourself "The plate is full!". You will reach a point where your plate is full. Don't ignore this and stop saying yes to everything. It's okay to say no.
Constraints are another great option to ensure you stay on track and focus on the important. By setting constraints, like working only 10 hours a week on project X, you create an productivity environment. In this environment is no time and place to do non-relevant bullshit tasks. You have to figure out what's the important stuff, or you will not progress with the project.
Time constraints also help you to keep living a healthy life. The constraint saves you from working 80 hours plus on your idea. But there are very bad things you can do to undermine this: Don't put everything into your start up. Once you have put all of your money and assets into it you can't just step back and relax. When you do this chances are high you will also put every moment of your life into it. And we really don't want that.
Another big don't: Stop organizing everything. There is always something to organize. If you don't know what to do, ask yourself: "What is the next most important thing?" When you can't come up with an answer focus on the things that don't change. If you take Amazon as an example it would be the shipping. Improving the shipping process will always pay off. Even in 10 years, because this will not change. People will always be happy when their orders arrive fast.
Keep it simple stupid. Simple is not easy. It's simple to eat better, it's simple to exercise but still people struggle to do the simple and easy things. Try to be simple, it will pay off!
Charge money for your product. Give your customers a free trial period, if they like it charge them. To make your customers stick you have to build a killer product. Always ask yourself "Would I pay for this?". When the answer is no, you are on the wrong track. Once you have a killer product you have to make the customer see the advantages. Make him use the product with others so he can see the benefit.
The first time experience is crucial. What do you see when you login for the first time? Never ignore that. How does your product look when you start using it? Is there a blank screen? Make sure you get this right.
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