Chris Herot's post on Zingdom Communications, formally Convoq, closing its doors recently is a must read for anyone in a startup. While the news is bad, the lessons learned should be posted on every wall. The same mistakes get made too often - especially iterating in the conference room instead of the marketplace. Don't ever forget the customer! Too often we forget that. Lessons according to Chris:
- Just because you are using agile methods doesn't mean you don't have to plan. Write your stories before you begin an iteration, but don't waste a lot of time on the details that aren't needed until later.
- Don't spend a lot of time and money naming the company until you have the product and positioning figured out.
- If you are depending on paid search to generate traffic then your marketing is broken.
- Raising too much money is almost as dangerous as raising too little - it sets high expectations which then drive high expenditures to deliver the results on time.
- If you want to do a consumer-facing product on the East Coast, stay engaged with the community in Silicon Valley. By the time you read about something in TechCrunch it's too late.
- Remember the three stages of building a web property: 1. Attract, 2. Engage, 3. Monetize. Don't skip a step.
Print it. Post it. Remember it.