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Monday, February 18, 2008

Paul Buchheit On Success Factors For Start-Ups

Paul Buchheit, ex-Google employee and now at Friendfeed, argues that smart teams, great designs and complex algorithms don’t make a successful start-up or good product... because it may not be what users want. Rather, he suggests to release early, then watch for feedback, and, with great humility, adjust your product. A quote from the post (styling adjusted):

But if your team is so great, why aren’t they building the right product? Simply put, they have the wrong attitude. Firstly, they overestimate the importance of their own skills. Engineers think that success is all about fancy technology and complex engineering (hello Google). Designers think that success is all about beautiful design. MBAs think that success is all about knowing the right people, or spreadsheets, or something. (...)

It’s easy to find examples of this wrong attitude. When Google acquired YouTube, many people inside the company were flabbergasted, “But they have no technology!?” They didn’t understand that you only need enough technology to make the product work. Any more and you probably have the wrong priorities.

[Via Friendfeed.]


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