There are so many bloggers, who all refer to each other, that it’s crazy. You can spend days and days surfing from one to the next, reading all about how to do a lean startup, how to iterate and go fast, about marketers who do A/B tests, landing pages, Open Graph, quantitative measurement, scenario modeling, and database queries. Is it imperative that I know about all these things in the very early stages of a startup? I don’t think so.
And a lot of these blogs are just trying to sell a self-help product. The one that I got the biggest chuckle out of was labeled “I will teach you to be rich.” For only $236 you can get an e-book on how to find your first profitable idea. You know what I think: I think that guy just figured out his first profitable idea, which is to sucker you into paying him for an e-book. Do you really think that if someone has an infallible system for how to make millions, he's going to spend his time selling you a $236 e-book?
Another had articles like: how to make guidelines for writing on your blog; and how to be a prolific writer on your blog. Hey, I already know the answer to that one – write a lot.
Another said: be customer focused; have a product strategy; use social marketing (but it didn’t say how); and don’t forget branding (but nothing on how to do it). Boy, I don't know what I would have done if I had not read these gems.
For me, there are two things that I have to be able to do: figure out what product to do (one for which there will be some demand) and how to make that product great. I don't have to know about social graphs, I don’t even HAVE to know about how to raise money (mainly because I won’t be able to raise money in the very early stages).
I've worked with many entrepreneurs over the years, giving them my thoughts, reactions, etc. and I don’t charge. Why would I want to charge someone a couple hundred bucks, at a time when they really need that money for their startup? The reason I do it is simple – I enjoy it. I love talking with entrepreneurs. I get pumped up when I think talking with me might be a small help to them. I just want to see entrepreneurs succeed. When I go to Founders Institute sessions, I tell my wife, “I’m going to that entrepreneur thing tonight” and she just smiles and says, “Go have fun.” She knows.
I don't need self-help products, you don't need self-help products. Just believe in yourself, find a good opportunity and take action. Set goals; write them down. Take action. Did I mention take action?
Entrepreneurs: in the end you have to go with your instincts – your decision will probably be better than anything some so-called expert will tell you to do.