En fait, il y en a beaucoup plus. CenterNetworks a en effet eu la très bonne idée de rassembler au sein d’un guide les conseils d’une trentaine d’entrepreneurs. Cette compilation comprend ainsi des recommandations très pertinentes lorsqu’il s’agit de monter une startup ou un business web.

Je vous en recommande vraiment la lecture. Mais pour vous donner un avant-goût du contenu de ce recueil, voici une liste de conseils que j’ai sélectionnés et qui m’ont paru pleins de bon sens :

The highs are higher, the lows are lower. The key to success is to maintain balance and a level head through both.

Be ready to accept failure (9 out of 10 start ups fail).

Be ready to sacrifice: Building a product and company is a lot of hard work. The hardest part is not coming up with an idea or building the product, it’s staying committed enough to do it when you’re tired, or when the first major investor says no, or when you have to sacrifice a night out. If you can’t give up some of the things that you really care about right now, you will have a hard time sticking with your idea.

Build a strong team of generalists who can specialize. Find team members who complement each other but who can jump in to do anything. For example, if you are building a team of engineers find great engineers, some of whom think about the front-end, some about the back-end, some about speed, but all of whom can jump in wherever and whenever needed to build a part of the product.

If it’s core, make it great: You’ll quickly want to establish a roadmap for the one or two unique dimensions that will make your company worthwhile. Regarding those core features, do everything in your power to make sure they aren’t just good - make them amazing. Naturally, being great requires sacrifices and tradeoffs. That’s where remembering what’s core gives you freedom to let go of the periphery. Accept the fact that sometimes secondary features are going to be good. The pursuit of greatness is a fulltime job. Accept the fact that not everything you do is going to be great. Just make sure the stuff that really matters is.

Have a good team. A team can be just two people. Never underestimate how much work its going to be – even the easiest stuff can eat up more time than you have, this was a mistake I made!

Hire Good People: Don’t just hire people who are good on paper or who have “done it” before. Hire people who are willing to work hard and have a ton of common sense. You’ll need them to do much more than any single job description can tell so find ones who share that start-up mentality of doing anything necessary to get the job done. And who can figure things out!

Learn to fall well: Something startlingly common across physical activities is managing failure. Simply put, learning for fall well. In jiujitsu, ballet, gymnastics, ice skating, karate…even with flying helicopters, you need to learn how to gracefully fail. Don’t plan on failing, but know that there’s almost no way you can have a successful life without an awful lot of failure. Roll with it when it comes. When I started my company, I read up on a lot of other successful companies and found out that most of them had gotten off to pretty rocky starts. So when I had a series of very serious challenges very early on (and ended up taking no salary for over three years) I saw that this was not some sign of my lack of luck or poor personal competence, it was a natural part of the road to success. So prepare for the worst but hope for the best and don’t be afraid to screw up - because you *will* screw up. Get over it.

Get enough exercise and sleep: Sounds trivial, but it’s not. You may have the urge to work 24/7, to skip the gym and to stay up late to get a few more things done. That’s short-sighted. Exercise and sleep are critical to having the physical and mental energy necessary to meet a challenge.

Launch early, update often: Often times, I’ve seen startups never get off the ground because they never launched their product. It sounds stupid, I know, but these are brilliant people who focused so much on a full feature set that the whole thing caught fire before they got it out of the oven. Getting your product launched is just the beginning. Content updates, monetization, and advertising are the driving point of your business, most likely. With no product, how will you ever make money? To sum it up, concentrate on your most valuable features with the highest return, launch your product, and make frequent updates. (For more information on this topic, see the Rapid Release Model methodology.)

Say No: Everyone is a designer. Everyone has an opinion. When you show a product, you’re going to hear those opinions. Don’t be afraid to say no. If you have a clear vision of your product, and according to tip #1, you should, then don’t steer to far from that vision. If someone offers you a groundbreaking, revolutionary feature idea, then consider it. If someone doesn’t like the way you handle something, hear them out, but you don’t have to implement their idea. You can’t please everyone, but you have a startup because you want to please yourself.

Work: Take you task list everyday and sort it from the most value creating tasks to the least and work your way down. You have to work really hard to make a great site. I have heard it takes about 5 years to really build a great company.

Pretend you’re bigger then you are: Just because your development team consists of you and case of Red Bull it doesn’t mean you can be cavalier. Use some form of version control. Have at least three setups of your site, development, QA and production. Don’t edit the live code. Keep backups. Write useful comments in your code.

Focus on the B Plan. It’s easy to get excited about the potential of a business, especially when the market’s hot like the one we’re in and entrepreneurs seem to be cashing out in millions everywhere. Get into actually owning a start-up, and it’s a totally different picture. Behind all of those great success stories were years of somebody busting their tail, probably going broke, and struggling along under huge constraints and stress. That’s more than likely going to be you, no matter how much you want to believe otherwise. Keep your eye on the second prize - running and developing a successful, profitable and viable business. That’s how you’ll get the Googles of the world to notice.

Know That Making Money is Difficult. It’s been said that it takes five years to reach profitability in the restaurant business, that you may never see it in retail. Ice arenas are allegedly constant money pits. Yet, somehow, when it comes to launching your own start up, it’s easy to think things are going to be different - especially in internet business. Making money is hard in any market, period. Don’t think about the 2.3 million you could sell for, and don’t believe for a second that revenue will instantly come in. The reality is far different, and you’ll fare much better to know it - and keep it in front of you - beforehand.

Read, A lot. I’m slammed all the time. I work a part time job that pays for my lifestyle while running StyleDiary and launching Look|Shop|List, yet I always make time to read the top blogs, business magazines and anything else I can get my hands on any chance I get. It gives me intelligence into the market, what’s happening now, what might happen next, and has also played a really important role in connecting me with other people I need to know in business. It has definitely played a huge role in my success as an entrepreneur.

Get as much feedback from people as possible. Ideas are cheap, its the execution thats tough, so dont be too concerned about others stealing your idea.

Setup Google Alerts and Technorati alerts for your competitor’s names. This will allow you to keep up on when your competitor’s are being mentioned, so you know what they’re up to — and it’ll also let you know what bloggers or other publications are interested in your area of expertise; reach out to those bloggers and make your name known to them — tell them what you’re up to and toss your idea/business at them, they’ll likely give you some great feedback on how you could better differentiate.

Define your own success: If you’re going after a million bucks with your own startup, you’ve already failed yourself. Instead, do something because it’s interesting, challenging, it offers you the chance to learn something new or gives you the chance to work with really interesting people. Most startups that are designed to make money, especially in this environment, don’t.

Communicate, communicate, communicate: If anything, make sure to communicate what you’re doing, what you’re up to, what’s going on and what issues your facing as often as you can — even if [you think] no one’s listening. This serves both as a log of your activities and a personal record that you can refer to later but also opens the possibility that someone might just come along and be able to help you in some unexpected but totally necessary way!

Get management and finance books and read them. While you may be great at inventing new technologies, running a business is just as important a skill.

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16 commentaires à propos de “21 conseils avisés d’entrepreneurs pour monter sa startup” :

  1. Tip #6 Avichal Garg from PrepMe - Write everything down
    Whether it’s equity arrangements, potential intellectual property and patentable ideas/technologies, or
    the specifics of your marketing budget, having things written down will force you to clarify your ideas
    and make sure everyone concerned is on the same page.

    Je me ballade tout le temps avec mes 5 petits carnets, dans l’avion, au resto etc… Plus efficace qu’un PDA (plus flexible et rapide, texte et schéma vont de paire etc… on est pas limité par l’interface ;)) et très utilie quand il s’agit de noter l’idée qui vient de surgir dans le bus plutôt que de la laisser dans un coin de son cerveau et d’avoir la terrible impression quelques heures plus tard: “c’était une idée sympa mais je ne parviens pas à me souvenir de quoi il était question exactement…” ;-)

  2. Effectivement de très sages conseils, applicables même pour des personnes qui ne créent pas leur entreprise. Ca complète beaucoup ce qui se trouve sur FreelanceSwitch : de bons conseils, succincts et facilement mémorisables.

  3. Launch early, update often: …It sounds stupid, I know, but these are brilliant people who focused so much on a full feature set that… For more information on this topic, see the Rapid Release Model methodology.

    Tiens, tiens… je trouve ce point particulièrement intéressant…

  4. J’aime bien celle Comunicate, communicate … En plus tu l’as très bien appliqué tout au long de ces 400 jours. ;-)

  5. Pas vraiment de citation mais des règles d’or
    Voici donc ma petite liste affichée sur mon bureau et basée en partie sur mes gourous nord-américains:
    - Pas d’envoyer/recevoir non-nécessaire sur Outlook
    - Pas de surf superflu
    - Une tâche à la fois
    - Eviter tout appel superflu
    - Concentrer au maximum l’information dans chaque email
    - Grouper les tâches similaires
    - Eliminer tâches inutiles
    - Faire TO Do sur Papier et pas sur Outlook
    - Abandonner tâches inutiles déjà commencées
    - Se concentrer sur l’information utile
    - Pas de procrastination
    - Suis-je en train de m’inventer des tâches à la XXX pour ne pas faire l’important?

    Dernièrement, je rajouterais pas de Facebook

  6. C’est sur que quand on regarde tous ces conseils, on se dit qu’on ne peut pas monter sa start-up tout seul…
    Pour moi le plus dur est de classer les tâches en fonction du nice to have et du must have. On n’a pas le temps de tout faire, alors il faut prioriser.
    J’adhère à 100 % à la TO-DO liste papier…

  7. Ola,

    Moi j’ai un Grand tableau, ça sert beaucoup, des dessins, des réunions, des idées et ensuite je prend des photos et je stock !

    Une méthode comme une autre


  8. Albéric, pourquoi préconises-tu de faire une todo list sur papier plutôt que sur Outlook (ou je suppose n’importe quel service en ligne de gestion de tâches) ? Quels sont les avantages de cette approche ?

  9. Stéphane,
    Je pense que l’utilisation d’Outlook ou d’outils dans le même genre constitue un piège car:
    - permettent des listes sans fin (et donc remplies de tâches subalternes voire inutiles)
    - si l’on utilise des reminders outlook, on peut être tenté de procrastiner à mort en repoussant l’alerte à plus tard (et les jours s’accumulent vite)

    Le papier en revanche est parfait pour peu que l’on se tienne à une certaine discipline:
    - ne pas laisser courir la liste sur trop de pages
    - barrer les tâches accomplies pour se donner le sentiment du travail bien fait et le courage de finir les tâches restantes

    Tout ça dans le but de lutter contre la procrastination, l’ennemi N° 1 selon moi

  10. Un petit rappel pour ceux qui (comme moi) ne se rappelle pas ce que signifie le terme procrastination :

    La procrastination est un terme relatif à la psychologie qui désigne la tendance pathologique à remettre systématiquement au lendemain quelques actions, qu’elles soient limitées à un domaine précis de la vie quotidienne ou non. Le retardataire chronique, appelé procrastinateur, n’arrive pas à se ‘mettre au travail’, surtout lorsque ça ne lui procure pas de gratification immédiate.

    Merci pour ces précisions Albéric. Je suis plutôt d’accord avec tes arguments, mais je trouve que le support informatique est quand même beaucoup plus flexible, surtout pour gérer les priorités.

  11. Avec la todo liste papier, on s’oblige à se mettre des taches réalisables, c’est tres visuel, et on la transporte dans sa poche.
    Pour des projets à plusieurs, alors je préconise un tableau Excel partagé, avec le nom du responsable de chaque action et le date prévisionnelle.

  12. Stéphane, dans le même genre des conseils bien funs de Fake Steve Jobs: http://foundread.com/2007/11/1.....teve-jobs/
    Pour les non-anglophone, j’ai fait une petite trad sur mon blog: http://www.smallisbusiness.com/

  13. merci beaucoup pour tous ces conseils, je crois que quand on se lance il faut impérativement se documenter pour éviter certaines erreurs et être conforté dans la direction qu’on prend. Un livre également très bien avec des sucess story américaines: founders at work de jessica levingston.

  14. C’est marrant, je viens justement de commander ce livre Aurélie ;).

  15. je m’appelle jacques kolié, je suis un jeune apprenti cineaste qui ecrit actuellement un scanrio . le film parle d’un entrepreneur et son conseillé . la premiere scene le conseillé conseille l’entrepreneur. je ne sais pas ce que je dois ecrire, quel conseil qu’il va donner a l’entrepreneur, sur kel thème. je cherche quelqu’un pr m’aider a poser des question et repondre la meme question. c’est une socité de marketing.
    damixjack@gmail.com repondrez moi sur ce mail

  16. bonjour
    tres interessant cette liste.
    pour ma part j’en rajouterai une que mes mentors m’ont apprise : Penser stratégique. Definir une stratégie claire et précise et s’y tenir.
    definir des tactiques permettant d’aller chercher des clients.

    et comme dirait l’autre : “Dans l’action, on ne change pas de stratégie ; on change les tactiques.”

2 rétroliens à propos de “21 conseils avisés d’entrepreneurs pour monter sa startup” :

  1. De tout, de rien, c'est la boîte à liens !
    Le 16 novembre 2007 à 02:24
  2. Why should a blog have a title ? » Blog Archive » CNet's Startup Tips (2007)
    Le 13 mai 2009 à 17:19

Par contre, il y a encore des trucs qui ne marchent pas. Par exemple il a compris 'DesignS' au lieu de 'Design'.

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