Monday, December 15, 2008

A spoonful of sugar...

53 things I wish someone had taught me
  1. Break every problem down into components. Each component is a milestone. Before you know it, you're on your way to solving the problem.
  2. People manage projects, not software.
  3. If you spend more time organizing than producing, you are a victim of the techonomy. Technology is supposed to be a tool for better productivity; it's a means to an end. Hopefully, the "end" doesn't refer to the end of your business. Technology is a leading cause of "paralysis by analysis."
  4. The word for too much organizing is "disorganizing."
  5. Raising capital should not be considered a revenue stream in the business model.
  6. Surround yourself with people smarter than yourself.
  7. "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."
  8. Never sit on your haunches. Only progressive companies succeed.
  9. Nobody has all the answers.
  10. Never judge a book by its cover. Surprises come in all shapes and sizes.
  11. Don't believe the hype.
  12. Back up your data.
  13. Don't just adapt. Lead.
  14. Be assertive. Monkeys can do tasks. Go the extra mile.
  15. Learn from everyone.
  16. Delegate.
  17. "It takes years to become an overnight success."
  18. Wealth is not measured by how much you make, or how much you spend. It's how much you save.
  19. Don't be greedy.
  20. Don't let non-native speaking English copywriters write ads in English.
  21. Don't let your engineers do your marketing, unless your product is for engineers.
  22. You are only as good as your last review.
  23. Intelligence is overrated.
  24. Action speaks louder than words.
  25. Know what motivates people.
  26. Sometimes, communication is more important than actual performance.
  27. If it's a great idea, someone else is already probably working on it.
  28. Don't think "competition." Think, "opportunity." Coopetition.
  29. Don't create buzz unless you can back it up.
  30. A lackluster product with good marketing will beat a superior product with poor marketing. This rule applies more to the old economy. Now that we have social networks and referral-driven programs, it's becoming less and less true. Now that review sites abound, product quality is constantly being benchmarked.
  31. A consultant for startups is usually a person who gets paid to give advice that nobody takes.
  32. Don't be myopic. It's not about you - it's about your customer.
  33. If you don't start something, it will never be.
  34. A measure of how badly someone wants something is how hard they work to get it.
  35. Smart people surround themselves with smarter people.
  36. Be good to your employees. Too much employee turnover is bad for business, and a tremendous waste of resources.
  37. Don't believe your own internal buzz. If the emperor isn't wearing clothes, tell her so.
  38. Compartmentalization doesn't work.
  39. Always take the initiative. Don't be square and perform the minimum needed to meet requirements.
  40. Don't assume that your contribution will get you a promotion. I wasted many years from this naivete. Most business people are short sighted and greedy. Smart people will compensate you for your commensurate value - if not now, then in the future.
  41. Don't put the cart before the horse.
  42. Write stuff down. Sleep with a pad of paper next to your bed.
  43. Sometimes a pad of paper is better than all of your productivity software combined.
  44. Give credit where credit is due.
  45. You can learn a lot about a person by the way they drive.
  46. "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king."
  47. "Don't throw good money after bad."
  48. Don't be a lemming. By the time you react, it's too late to reap any benefit
  49. Be an early adopter, but wait for version 2.0.
  50. Take advantage of available resources. If you have a pool, go swimming. If you have a library, take out books.
  51. Blog
  52. If you make someone else look good, you are a valuable asset.
  53. "Divide and conquer"
  54. "One man's ceiling is another man's floor"
  55. Your $1,500 digital SLR will be worth $250 next year.

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