When I heard that Tim Ferriss was moderating this session, I was really looking forward to this because I was a big fan, having read his book “The Four Hour Workweek” twice just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. This panel was about building big in as little time as possible. I’ll have to admit, save for Tim, I really didn’t know any of these people. And I call myself a tech geek – oh the shame. All of the speakers were accomplished in their own right.
- Tim Ferriss – author of the Four Hour Workweek
- Evan Williams – founder of Blogger and Twitter
- Cali Lewis – host of GeekBrief TV, a video podcast site for tech geeks like me
- Mike Cassidy – CEO & co-founder of Xfire, DirectHit, and Stylus Innovation
I think Mike belongs in a whole different category of his own. Mike is a speed freak. He sold Stylus Innovation for $13 million, quickly followed up by selling his 500 day old company DirectHit for $532 million. If that wasn’t enough, he then went on to sell his 2 year old Xfire to Viacom for $110 million. He’s a speed demon. I like. I thought man, I wanna hear what this guy has to say, he’s not messing around.
I’ve organized my notes by person. It helps me understand them individually better.
- Build a community
- Have passion
- Don’t promote too early
- Use social networks to build a critical mass
- Follow the market that’s responding – not necessarily the market that your website was meant for
- Grow faster by taking away power user features
- Embrace the thought leaders not the traffic leaders
- Ready, fire, aim approach. Launch first, then figure out who its for
- Don’t skip on time spent networking
- Don’t ask people to review you
- Offer to share knowledge and explain
- Eliminate as much as possible
- Get relationships in place before you need them
- Make it easy for mentors to help you
- Focus on a really small audience
- Recommended reading: “Buffet: Making of an American Capitalist“
- Compress all phases of the company
- Release products/updates quickly (2 weeks)
- Start with a simple clean feature set
- Recruiting: set expectations with a running start beginning on day 1
- Form relationships even when there is no immediate benefit
- Recommended reading “Six Days of War“
If I were to distill everything down to just a key point from each person it would be:
- Be genuine, be real, and it will show.
- Go with the flow. You don’t know how users will use your product until it happens.
- Go for quality over quantity whether it’s relationships, product, users.
- Do it fast.
Tim Ferris has a writeup of the event including a recording of the panel. You should definitely check it out.
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