Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rod Johnson on Entrepreneurialism

One thing I think that you really need to be careful of as well, particularly if you, like me, are a programmer, is don’t get carried away writing code. Typically in my experience anyone who is a good programmer is pretty passionate about it, love writing code, get addicted to the process of writing code, fell pretty good about their code basis. As soon as you get down that path you are not thinking straight anymore and now you are increasing your emotional investment, you are having lots of fun writing interesting code and you are no longer in a place mentally where you are going to be trying to find some reason that you shouldn’t write that code. That has been a big lesson for me that the quicker I get to coding, the longer it takes me to ask the kind of questions I should ask upfront.
It is really, really hard to decide not to do things. One of the biggest killers of companies is trying to do too much. If you try to take on too many things you will assuredly fail, even if every one of those things is a good thing to do. It is incredibly hard to realize that a particular thing is a good idea, but you are not going to do it.
I think the biggest way to decide frankly if you are trading off business priorities is do the boring stuff like, look at the total addressable market, go and talk to customers, figure out what they will pay for. You really need to be guided by what the revenue is likely to be, and make sure you don’t just do something just because it’s cool.

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