French entrepreneur Loic Le Meur reminds me of that guy who set up a network of web cams in his apartment around 1999 and called the project WeLiveInPublic.com. Needless to say the guy’s girlfriend left shortly after. The only difference is that Le Meur hasn’t managed to get his partner and kids in on the act yet. But give it time. He already blogs daily, videoblogs almost hourly on his startup Seesmic and Twitters incessantly. As a result he has 2,427 followers on Twitter and is now offering one random Twitter follower a free airline ticket and pass to Le Web 3, the Web conference he is organising in Paris next week (I’ll be there too BTW).
But at least there is method in this apparent madness of relentless ‘public’ living. He blogs that he is working on an article for the Financial Times, and using social media as a way of starting your business features heavily. In fact they are even interesting enough to quote:
1- do not wait for a revolutionary idea, the idea of your life will never happen, just focus on a simple exciting empty space you see and execute as fast as possible
2- share your idea as much as possible, the more you share, the more you get advice and the more you learn. Meet and talk to your competitors.
3- build a community around you through blogging and social software
4- listen to your community, answer questions and build your product with their feedback, involve bloggers as early as possible and get their feedback, if negative, adapt your product permanently
5- gather a great team with a very different skill set than yours, look for people who are better than you without being afraid of it
6- be the first to recognize a problem or a mistake you have made. Never hide it behind the carpet. Address the issue in public, learn and correct it.
7- do not spend time on market research, but launch as early as possible in alpha or beta versions. Keep improving the product in the open.
8- do not focus on a large spreadsheet business plan, you are so sure it is not going to happen anyway
9- do not plan huge marketing, growing with your community loving the product is much more powerful
10- do not focus on getting rich or selling your company, focus on your users, money is a consequence of success, can’t be a goal