SXSW Interactive

Opening remarks w/ Jason Fried; Podcasting 2.0

SXSW is posting podcasts of their events, including opening remarks with Jason Fried and a Podcasting 2.0 seminar that I missed Saturday morning. Here is a quick rundown of the opening remarks:

Jason Fried, the founder of 37 Signals was on the video screen to give the opening remarks (it was prerecorded, maybe from last year — he was addressing a SXSW audience, anyway). He talked about three items you should find less of when starting a company around a Web app.

Find less time. Most of those who start a Web business still maintain a full-time job elsewhere. But that should provide all the time you need to get started. Take 5 hours a week, if that’s all you have; just create real things that people can start using. If you have more time, you’ll waste more time on things not related to your product.

Find less money. You don’t need a lot of money to get your business started. Bandwidth and storage are cheap. Fried said Basecamp ran on one server for a whole year. Overspending on office desks, neon signs, servers, etc., will not make your business great. Working under monetary constraints will keep you focused on your ultimate goal: making a great product.

Find (create) less software. Don’t underestimate the user’s brain to figure out your software. If you build something that has too many features, you’ll get in your users’ way. Users don’t want clever software — they want something simple that works. Create your software with fewer features and gradually add features as your users need them.

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