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Rules for Start-ups

Don Dodge writes about a recent panel he participated in with Ajit Nazare of Kleiner Perkins.  Nazare outlined his 7 rules for startups:

KP’s 7 rules for start-ups

  • Instant Value to customers – solve a problem or create value with the first use
  • Viral adoption – Pull, not push. No direct sales force required
  • Minimum IT footprint, preferably none. Hosted SaaS is best.
  • Simple, intuitive user experience – no training required.
  • Personalized user experience – customizable
  • Easy configuration based on application or usage templates
  • Context aware – adjust to location, groups, preferences, devices, etc.

I find the context awareness point very intriguing.  Wish that I’d been there to hear the panel.  Naturally, I believe that context awareness is a critical element of producing truly useful software, and true context awareness is difficult to achieve in all cases.  Take presence, for instance.  Most implementations require you to set a specific presence status.  Some can anticipate some kinds of presence (“oh… there’s been no typing for a while… you’re probably away from the PC”).  None can automatically set all presence settings based on context.  Perhaps that’s too much to ask, as well.  Who knows?

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