on December 27, 2009
I am describing these lessons from my own personal perspectives. However, these lessons apply to most web startups, esp. those with severe restriction on resources.
First, you need to ensure the smooth distribution. Translation : Choose your platform well. Ask, "Can we really deploy your applications? Can we really pay for the costs of deployment? What about scaling up or down?" You must consider these issues even before you write a single line of code.
Second, you must keep the development and research costs down. A small web application that takes 2 years to research is not worth doing. You had better find better things to do instead.
Third, dogs must really like your dog food. Like Guy Kawasaki says, if you are not sure about this point, you should just develop the product for yourself. Be honest, do you really like your own app? Is it useful to you in a real way?
Finally, --- now you have got a cost-effective, deliverable, really useful product --- but that is not the end of the game. Like Trout says , your app/product/concept must "explode" in the potential customers' minds. Or else, you will have to burn wads of dollars to promote your stuff and still the success is not certain. Your site or app will be drowned out in the multitudes of similar offerings. How are you getting your buzz in an over-crowded market space?
In short, distribution, cost, usefulness and buzz, not necessarily in order of importance.