How to start a business. How not to start a business.

DO have a grand vision about what you want your business to look like.
DON’T plan on having every piece of that vision unfold together neatly.

DO pick the most basic MONEY MAKING aspect of your business to focus on early.
DON’T pick the thing that looks the most fun or interesting if it doesn’t create any revenue.

DO charge a price that is fair for the product or service you offer.
DON’T charge a price too low because you are scared no one will pay what you think you are worth.

DO find a customer willing to commit to giving you business before you spend a penny on product development.
DON’T max out credit cards or spend your life savings on an “idea” that you think other people might like.

DO pursue world changing concepts in huge sectors.
DON’T ever think you are the “next” Google, Facebook, AMazon, Zappos, Yelp, Yahoo, VMWare, etc. None of those companies were the “next” anything – they were unique, building on what came before to a factor of ten.

DO steal good ideas and work hard to make them great businesses.
DON’T act like you thought of this on your own. As Jimmy Page said, “all the good riffs have already been played.” If you are copying Groupon, be proud to say, “They had a great idea but we saw ways to do it differently/better.”

DO work harder then everyone else involved in your venture, harder then your partners, competitors and CUSTOMERS.
DON’T leach on to other people as partners, co-founders and employees looking for a free ride.

DO celebrate your first sale. Starting a business that grosses any money is hard and should be acknowledged.
DON’T be frivolous with the money you make. Every dollar is worth the same amount of money, whether it’s the first or the billionth.

DO pick fights with competitors.
DON’T trash them or their products without being able to clearly explain why your offering is superior.

DO. (Actually, that’s really the only thing you need to know.)


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