One of the things I always tell startups is a principle I learned from Paul Buchheit: it's better to make a few people really happy than to make a lot of people semi-happy. I was saying recently to a reporter that if I could only tell startups 10 things, this would be one of them. Then I thought: what would the other 9 be?
When I made the list there turned out to be 13:
1. Pick good cofounders.
Cofounders are for a startup what location is for real estate. You can change anything about a house except where it is. In a startup you can change your idea easily, but changing your cofounders is hard.??And the success of a startup is almost always a function of its founders.
2. Launch fast.
The reason to launch fast is not so much that it's critical to get your product to market early, but that you haven't really started working on it till you've launched. Launching teaches you what you should have been building. Till you know that you're wasting your time. So the main value of whatever you launch with is as a pretext for engaging users.