I know I am late to the party but I recently gave Getting Real by Basecamp a read and I found myself rereading it like a manual of doing things and getting things done more than a normal book that I assumed it would be. A lot of the core beliefs strike a core within me. I hope the assorted few gems listed here will probably help you or reinforce the belief if you are on the same track:
Build Less : The less number of features means less code less things to manage and less things that gets in the way of Product Marketing. Try less of everything, but also remember that less doesn’t mean ignore the needs of yourself or your users. Choose the bare minimum that are required and go execute on them with great vigour.
Have an enemy: This, is easily the biggest differentiation that your app/service/product can get. Find someone/thing that doesn’t respect your opinion or your way of getting things done. It will help you shine light on the real problems and also will help a lot with your marketing messaging front as well. P.S Don’t go around calling anyone and everyone an enemy for the sake of it. An enemy is doing a wrong that you want to make a right out of.
Have three musketeers : These three folks will look into three distinct functions : Designer + Developer + Marketer. That’s all you need to go get things off the ground to growing/maturing the product. As an aside my personal belief Is founders regardless of what function they are part of/working on should do customer support.
Be open to change: How quickly you are able to change is what will decide your success more often than not. Let this mindset reflect on the way you do things, be open to change if needed. Let your code be modular as well, the less no of dependencies the better it is to change a lot of things without working against yourself. Most startups end up loosing out because they don’t get this quickly and sometimes its too late to fix things.
Embrace Constraints: Let limitations guide you to creative solutions. There’s never enough time, money, people. And that’s a really good thing. Instead of freaking out about these constraints, embrace them. Let them guide you. Constraints induce focus and scopes your work, that is something that can end up becoming a real and distinctive advantage. Go constrain yourself!
Its a problem when its a problem : Don’t waste time on problems you don’t have yet. E.g. don’t worry about scaling to 100,000 users. Just wing it. Don’t sweat stuff until you actually must. Don’t overbuild. Make decisions just in time. I decided to leave the words untouched since its written in a way that cannot have anything added nor taken away from it.
Half, not Half - Assed : Take whatever you think your product should be and cut it in half. Pare features down until you’re left with only the most essential ones. Then, do it again. Side Note : Perfect is not when you can add more but when there is nothing left to take away from it.
If you liked whatever you read so far I highly recommend you to check out Getting Real by Basecamp. Also head over here to get the full summary in a PDF format.