Tips for Web Startups from Bloglines' Mark Fletcher

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Source Title:
From the Garage: Lessons Learned Birthing and Building Web Start-ups
Story Text:

Mark Fletcher of recently aquired Bloglines spoke at Etech last week on building and nurturing web startups.

There are a couple of good posts covering what he had to say, among them, Kareem, sporting a rather natty mega hairdo, and Mike Rodriquez

Some general points, gleaned from both posts:

  • passion for the idea
  • cheap technologies
  • keep it simple
  • release early/release often
  • involve your users
  • moonlighting limits risk
  • friends/family funding
  • free services = less pressure
  • web services APIs are a good thing
  • hire a lawyer
  • find good help (especially a sys admin)
  • outsource to eLance, an online index of free-lancers

It's always interesting to hear the stories of entrepreneurs who have made it big before, nevermind a guy who's done it twice. That being said, there were only two things that came as big surprises to me. First was the recommendation to go to family and friends for money, as mostly everything I've read suggests this can lead to pain and undue stress. And second, that finding a good sys admin alleviates a lot of pain. This makes sense, but it's not something I've had to think much about, yet.

I'd say the bloglines story was a good one, cheap tech, lots of hard work, and a nice fat payoff after a couple of years - sweet..