Wednesday, December 22, 2010


You will need to do things in a certain way to maximize your chances to succeed. This “certain way” is what we call strategy, from the general business attitude to specific approaches.

1. Fail Often

Good judgment come form experience but experience come from bad judgment, Not entirely true, I know, but enough to make you think. Don’t be afraid to fail. Kill all your ”brilliant“ ideas by making them real first. 99.99% of the genial ideas don’t survive after you make them real. 99.99% is a big number. Prepare to fail for 99.99% of your time. The 0.01% is really worth.

2. Fast Is The New Slow

If you really want a piece of the online cake you have to think super fast. If you think fast, you’re slow. Technology is evolving at such a rate that you can almost hear it growing. The adoption of the phenomenon is the fastest in the whole humankind history. You’re doing business during a revolution. And, usually, during revolutions they get rid of the old / slow stuff pretty fast (think head chopping and you’ll have an idea).

3. If You Don’t Blog, You Don’t Exist

The old days of anonymous business presence on the Internet are over. You need an identity. Preferably, your own identity. And the easiest way to establish, maintain and promote an identity is having a blog. Blogging has become an internal part of the online business process, much like a domain name: without it, you don’t really exist.

4. Be Informed

Stay on top of the news but filter the information. Being informed is a balanced attitude. Don’t rush to become a hype whore, praising every single ”next boom“ idea, but don’t get too skeptical also. Watching the trends in the online business can be a business in itself, though you need a really good filter and a cold judgement in order to take only what’s really useful for you or your business niche.

5. Social Media Works

It might be overrated lately, I agree, but social media really works. As an observer of the online phenomenon in the last ten years I can tell you for sure that this IS a revolution. Much slower than it’s perceived or presented, but there is a real shift from consuming information to interacting in larger communities. Social media is a place where you really want to be if you want to do business on the internet.

6. Praise Your Success

I really don’t see any reason whatsoever you shouldn’t be proud of what you did. If you’re successful, let the world know. Being shy will not help you here. You’re acting on a field so crowded with information that even your own identity is difficult to persist, if you don’t actively work at it. Just because your clients know your name that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re perceived as an expert in your niche.

7. Don’t Focus On The Competition

But don’t ignore it either. This business field is so crowded that you’re surely having a lot of competition. Focusing on it will most likely drain all your resources. Instead, focus on your resources, on your projects and on your clients. Pure ranking (like I’m #1 and you’re #2) doesn’t really work in the online, but identity does. Work to establish an identity rather than engaging in competition wars.

8. Is This Really Useful?

Before starting to actually build your project make sure you’re able to respond a big, capital letters, no hesitation, out loud ”YES“ to that question. If you have the slightest hesitation, start the analyse over. If you will build something that wouldn’t make a difference (but it will just look good or shiny) you will lose. Your business must solve a problem. Period.

9. What Brain Real Estate Do You Own?

I usually describe branding as the real estate property you own in people’s brains. The ”shoes“ land is owned by Nike, the ”luxury car“ is owned by Ferrari, the ”classy watch“ is owned by Rolex, and ”mobile phone“ tends to be owned by Apple, lately. Almost every human concept can be defined as a real estate property in one’s brain. And a brand is actually the connection between that brain land and a specific product . Once you succeed in owning a pice of real estate in people’s brains, you’re set.

10. Don’t Listen To Them

Listen to you. Don’t listen to those who are telling you’re making a big mistake by quitting your daily job and starting a new business. You know better. They’ll praise you in a few years. So go for it.

11. Don’t Be Afraid

Yes it’s risky. Yes, nobody can guarantee total success. Yes, you may fail. So what? Being afraid will only amplify those possibilities. Accept that you can fail or succeed and move on. The beauty of the journey will soon make those fear fade like they never existed.

12. No Risk It, No Biscuit

Learn how to deal with risk and how to embrace it. There is no such business with “zero” risk. If it is, it isn’t worth the trouble. The bigger the risk, the bigger the payout of the business. And the online field is one of the riskier business fields you can imagine.

13. If It Was Never Done, Look Twice

Most of the time, an idea nobody had until you is worth the trouble. But if nobody implemented it so far, there must also be a reason. The “first of its kind” ideas are not always a sure win, look twice. This is not meant to inhibit your creativity, but to ground you more and avoid seeking novelty just for the sake of it.

14. When It’s Cooking, It’s Cooking

If your idea is starting to take off, don’t stop. You may be surprised how high you can go. Don’t just stop when your initial goal has been met. More often than you think, this initial success is only the gate to something bigger than you ever imagined. Don’t let yourself out of this bigger picture by remaining stuck in an initial, comfy, small success.

15. Seek For Advice

You don’t know everything. Fortunately. Because if you would know everything you’ll miss all that thrill of discovering the unknown. Just ask for advice when in trouble, don’t assume you know everything. Or do an online search. Chances are that somebody had the same problem before and the answer is out there.

16. Do Whatever It Takes

if you have to convince 100 people to make your project alive, do it. If you have to walk 1000 miles, do it. Do whatever it takes to make your idea real. Don’t think: “but this is too hard”. It isn’t. It’s your idea and you’ll be so happy when you’re going to see it live. So, do whatever it takes for that.

17. Trust Your Intuition

There are no schools for that, so it cannot be learned. Intuition is that instant light shed on a subject only for a split of a second, just enough for you to think it was there. Things are different in that light. Whenever you see it, trust it. Intuition can often draw the line between a “correct” entrepreneur and a brilliant one.

18. Practice Courage

This one can be learned, so do your best to learn it. Courage means doing stuff regardless of the context. Act with all your power towards making things happening. It doesn’t mean you’re not going to be afraid from time to time, it means you’re going to pursue your goal regardless of those fears.

19. Maintain Enthusiasm

This one can also be learned. If courage is the action, enthusiasm is the fuel for that action. Make sure you always have enough of that fuel. Seal your doors in such a way that depression will never make an entrance. In my opinion, enthusiasm is an asset bigger than any financial support you can get.

20. Do It For Yourself

Entrepreneurship is a fantastic personal development tool []. Regardless of the outcome of your business you will learn tremendously out of this. Do it for yourself, not for the money (although money is pretty good, also). Whatever you do, keep in mind that there aren’t really failures or successes, there are only results.

21. Be Self Sustainable Before Asking For Money

Going around and asking for funding while you’re still on negative cash-flow will create more harm than good. At this eraly stage – which is most of the time unavoidable – all the funding you can find is either angel investors, either the 3 ”F“: family, friends and fools. I gladly recommend the 3 ”F“ anytime, an angel will put a lot of pressure on your development and strategy. Once you have a constant, positive cash-flow, go out and shout for funding, they’ll line up at your door office.

22. Balance Your Expectations With The Market Status

When establishing strategic (and financial) goals pay attention to the market conditions. Always balance your own ambitions and expectations with real numbers from the market. If you don’t do that you’ll end up either aiming unrealistically high, either going under your true potential. If you’re that good, those realistic expectations will be surpassed by your results anyway.

23. Brand Yourself

In the online field, more than in any other I know, personal branding is compulsory. And by that I mean absolutely unavoidable. Your online presence will work while you’re asleep, while you’re on holiday, while you’re working hard on a new secret feature. Maintaining a solid, persistent online presence is the key ingredient to a successful personal branding. Don’t assume people knows everything about you, constantly reinforce what YOU want them to know about you.

24. Watch For Your Break Even

But don’t consider it a success in itself. That’s what a business have to do in the first place: pays the money invested in it. A common strategy mistake is to slow down after the break-even, considering that the simple fact of reaching it will further endorse the business. On the contrary, it’s only after the break-even that you’ll see how much your project really worths in terms of profit.

25. Network, Network, Network

Go out and meet new people. Clearly state your expertise and and ask the same from your peers. Let them know why you’re doing business and how. Join professional organizations and attend to informal meetings. There is no such thing as an upper limit to your connections in the online field.

26. Don’t Fall Into The Productivity Trap

Sometimes you get so caught in a productivity trap that you lose sight of the long term goals. You work so hard and so organized that you can’t see where you’re heading anymore. If you reached this level, it’s time for you to hire a manager. You’re en entrepreneur, you have to see the road and lead your people there.

27. Don’t Let It Eat You

A business is just a business, not your life. Took me years to understand that. Too much of an implication in your own business is not good. At some point, you’ll be burned out. Be sure to build some fences between your private life and your professional life.

28. Boredom Is Bankruptcy

If you get bored about your business it’s time to get out of it. Quick. Out of any imaginable dangers of a business, I cannot think of a one more powerful than boredom. The second you feel you got bored, make whatever you can to leave it. Otherwise you’ll end up having the worst job ever: being a bored employee (you) working for a bored boss

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