These are my notes from this panel, and are not edited very well
- Mike Hudack, Co-Founder, blip.tv
- Lynda Keeler, Founder, Delight Network
- Matt Mullenweg, WordPress
- Gina Trapani, Editor, Lifehacker.com
- Ted Rheingold, Top Dog, Dogster Inc
About making something happen with very limited resources.
Dogster: 10,000 members in 3 months. Two years on, eight-person company. Started as a side project.
Scribbling.net, lifehacker.com, blip.tv, automattic.com, akismet.com
Vlog: video blog
Getting started: remember: start it up for the right reasons. Not to become a millionaire. Not to be a web celebrity. Start and work on the idea that keeps you up at night. Think: I need this in my life.
Second advice: fail fast and often. Itch to build something. Minimize that amount of time that you wondering if something is going to work and finding out if something will work. If you are failing, you are trying.
Mullenweg: says get it out there as soon as possible. Don?｢どｨび｢t worry about someone stealing your idea. Ideas are almost worthless. 99 percent of it is execution.
Picking the right project. You have to do what you can?｢どｨび｢t not do. If you can?｢どｨび｢t visualize it, don?｢どｨび｢t do it. It?｢どｨび｢s never too late.
Break a problem down into smaller sections. You?｢どｨび｢ll be surprised at what you can accomplish. Don?｢どｨび｢t be scared of the scope.
How do you build the team? You have to lead by example. You have to be the most passionate person.
What can you give the team? People want exposure. Traffic could translate into business for contributors. Be generous about giving credit. Bartering. Hosting. Link credit. Over credit everyone. People are attracted by traffic.
Get handshake agreements with witnesses up front. Make sure there is no confusion.
How to manage a group without an office (dislocated): being very clear about expectations, and constant communication through email and wiki. Make tasks as small and clear as possible. IRC channel and blog works well (Mullenweg). Also recommends getting together with people, even if twice a year. Helps if you can show mockups and point to things. Be clear. Very specific instructions.
Legal Issues: some attorneys will work for deferred payment (Valley lawyers). Going to be one of your biggest expenses. $360 to trademark your logo.
Nolo. DIY legal paperwork.
Delicate balance keeping personal identity against your business. Have to be more conscious of the public eye.
Your project becomes a living organism. It?｢どｨび｢s something you are committing to.
Give stuff away to promote. Make t-shirts.
Viral marketing. Very powerful. Powered by WordPress. Mullenweg: at a party, girl says what is your myspace.
Keep your users happy. Best marketing that you can do.
Use hooks into community. Keep a live product blog. Be open about what?｢どｨび｢s going on in your company.
Connect with your tribe. Don?｢どｨび｢t get frustrated if it doesn?｢どｨび｢t happen at first. Keep doing it and putting it out there. You can?｢どｨび｢t force it to be successful, but keeping it out there. Let it be organic over time. No users doesn?｢どｨび｢t mean it?｢どｨび｢s a failure.
How do you deal with highs and lows. One day you?｢どｨび｢re at the top, the next you?｢どｨび｢re all ready to find a new job. Just recognize that these things come in phases and ride it. Celebrate little successes. When things don?｢どｨび｢t go well, stick with it. Your life has to come first. Don?｢どｨび｢t stay up all night. It?｢どｨび｢s just dogs on the Internet (dogster).
You don?｢どｨび｢t plan for success or failure. Most just want to get it down. Failing forward. Always something to learn. Don?｢どｨび｢t ruin your important connections.
How do you minimize problems. When things go wrong, you discover your limits. Learn from your mistakes. And learn from others?｢どｨび｢ mistakes. Success is one more failure away. Only make new mistakes.
When on your own, you have to own your failures. Don?｢どｨび｢t burn your bridges.
How do you make money? No matter how small, you can find a sponsor. $100 or $1000. Don?｢どｨび｢t make money at the expense of your users. Lots of ad support. More niche specific, the easier it is to get advertisers. Mullenweg, give away as much as possible. Spend as little money as possible, while making as much as you can.
Open source model maps really well on the net.