Startup Advice… motivator list

1. Make something people want.
2. A great team and a great market are both critically important—you have to have both. The debate about which is more important is silly.
3. Write code, talk to users, and build the company (hire the best people you can find, get the culture right, fundraise, close sales, etc.) Most other things that founders do are a waste of time.
4. Set a clear, easy-to-understand vision for your company, and make it be a mission people believe in.
5. Stay focused and don’t try to do too many things at once. Care about execution quality.
6. You have to have an almost crazy level of dedication to your company to succeed.
7. In general, don’t start a startup you’re not willing to work on for ten years.
8. Be relentlessly resourceful.
9. In the current pivot-happy world, good ideas are underweight. It’s worth the time to think through a good one.
10. Growth solves (nearly) all problems.
11. While growth is critical and you should focus on it, occasionally consider where you’re going—you need both growth and to be growing towards something valuable.
12. Obsess about the quality of the product.
13. Overcommunicate with your team. For some reason most founders are really bad at this one. Transparency is your friend.
14. Move fast. Speed is one of your main advantages over large companies.
15. Hire slow; fire fast. Hiring is the most important thing you do; spend at least a third of your time on it.
16. Occasionally think about why the 20th person will join your company.
17. Hire smart and effective people that are committed to what you’re doing. The last five words there are important.
18. Hire friends and friends of friends. Go after these people like crazy to get them to join. Some other candidate sources are ok, but I always got bad results from technical recruiters.
19. Generally, value aptitude over experience.
20. Hire people that you could describe as animals.
21. Eliminate distractions.
22. Don’t die.
23. Be frugal.
24. You’ll often hear conflicting advice about everything but “build a great product”. This means you can go either way on much of the rest of it and it doesn’t really matter. Just make a decision and get back to work. Product/market fit is what matters. You can—and will—make a lot of mistakes.
25. You make what you measure.
26. Startups are very hard no matter what you do; you may as well go after a big opportunity.
27. Momentum is critical. Don’t lose it.
28. Keep salaries low and equity high.
29. Keep the organization as flat as you can.
30. When working on a deal—raising money, trying to get a partnership, etc.—it’s important to create a competitive situation.
31. Schleps are good.
32. Don’t forget to make money.
33. Journalists like hearing directly from founders. If you hire PR people, resist their desire to control all the contact.
34. It’s standard for founders to keep board control in the first round.
35. Listen to everyone. Then make your own decision.
36. Remember that you are more likely to die because you execute badly than get crushed by a competitor.
37. Get lucky.
38. Have a direct relationship with your customers.
39. Be formidable—do not be easy to push around.
40. Don’t let your company be run by a sales guy. But do learn how to sell your product.
41. Have a culture that rewards output.
42. Don’t hire professional managers too early.
43. Simple is good. Be suspicious of complexity.
44. Get on planes in marginal situations. In-person is still better than tele-anything.
45. Most things are not as risky as they seem.
46. Be suspect of anyone who says the word process too often.
47. Raise a bit more money than you think you need.
48. Ignore the fact that “the press loves [you]”.
49. Have great customer service.
50. You can create value with breakthrough innovation, incremental refinement, or complex coordination. Great companies often do two of these. The very best companies do all three.
51. The role of the board is advice and consent. If the CEO does not lay out a clear strategy and tries to get the board to set one, it will usually end in disaster.
52. Board observers are usually a headache.
53. If you pivot, do it fully and with conviction. The worst thing is to try to do a bit of the old and the new—it’s hard to kill your babies.
54. It’s better to make a decision and be wrong than to equivocate.
55. Set goals for the company and motivate people to get there.
56. Always praise good work.
57. Celebrate your wins as a company. Get t-shirts for big milestones.
58. Have a good operational cadence where projects are short and you’re releasing something new on a regular basis.
59. You can win with the best product, the best price, or the best experience.
60. Meetups and conferences are generally a waste of time.
61. If the founders of your company seem to care more about being founders than they care about your specific company, go join another company.
62. It’s easier to sell painkillers than vitamins.
63. Be suspicious of any work that is not building product or getting customers. It’s easy to get sucked into an infrastructure rewrite death spiral.
64. It’s better to have a few users love your product than for a lot of users to sort of like it.
65. Learn how to stay extermally optimistic when your world is melting down.
66. Startups should require as few miracles as possible, but at least one.
67. You have to have great execution—far more people have good ideas than are willing to roll up their sleeves and get shit done.
68. Don’t have a diverse culture in the early days.
69. Keep a to-do list every day. At the top of it, put the one or two big things you want to work on.
70. Being the CEO is miserable more often than it’s good. But when it’s good, it’s really good.
71. On the really bad days, remember that tomorrow will be better—it’s hard to see it being much worse!
72. Sleep and exercise.
73. Success in a startup is usually pass/fail. Worry more about making sure you pass than an extra point of dilution.
74. Good investors are worth a reasonable premium.
75. Give your investors something to do.
76. Go for a few highly involved investors over a lot of lightly engaged ones.
77. Raise money on promise. Raise money on clean terms.
78. Do reference checks on your potential investors. Ask other founders how they are when everything goes wrong.
79. Investors love companies other investors love.
80. A lot of the best ideas seem silly or bad initially—you want an idea at the intersection of “seems like bad idea” and “is good idea”. (It’s important to note you need to be contrarian and right, not simply contrarian.)
81. Surf someone else’s wave.
82. Sometimes you can succeed through sheer force of will.
83. All startups are fucked in at least one major way. Keep going.
84. Keep an eye on cash in the bank and don’t run out of it.
85. Pay a lot of attention to the relationship between cofounders, especially if both/all of you want to be CEO.
86. Stay small and nimble.
87. Have a staff meeting at least once a week.
88. Find a mentor that will teach you how to manage.
89. Keep burn low until you’re sure everything is working.
90. Be suspect about buying users.
91. Lead by example.
92. Have the right kind of office. The proper office for a very small company is an apartment or house.
93. Share results (financial and key metrics) with the company every month.
94. Have a table in your offer letters that shows how much the stock you’re granting a new hire could be worth in various scenarios.
95. The best startups are defined by exceptions; all of these rules are probably breakable, but probably not all at the same time.


Flex… a few more pointers

Adobe Flex was, is and will be the coolest cat on the block for the next long foreseeable future… the basic truth is that there is no alternative more attractive than Flex to address the requirements of the businesses of today and tomorrow.

Flex emerged in 2005-2006 from the hidden corridors of Macromedia far from the mature platform it is today… but the principles innovative to the degree that they still are unbeatable when doing a 360 ! Increasing development effort up to 500% project velocity compared to competing technologies and then even targeting a übercool cross-platform runtime called Flash Player… crazy awesome !

Now, bear in mind that it wasn’t until Flex 2 that we had ActionScript 3, during the dark ages of 1 and 1.5 we were still coding ActionScript 2 to target Flex… and MXML were far from the king if UI frameworks it is today in terms of completeness as well as general readiness… we have obviously come a far way since then !

It’s now a globally adopted platform for everything from Enterprise Desktop App’s running AIR, Interactive TouchScreen Systems running on Televisions, 100 of millions of iOS and Android smartphones, millions of Tablets, every browser on the planet (besides Lynx and a few other tremendously obscure pieces of software) and even runs management consoles for cars… Its a fact that an unfathomable amount of money has been invested in Flex applications across the globe to date, and its another fact that most of the world’s Fortune 500 companies are running billion lines of AVM byte code compiled from Flex every day…

If Flex really were to go away overnight, every industry and every business sector in the world would come to a screaming halt, and thats a fact, wether you like it or not. Naturally the powers that be can not let that happen, and that’s the situation in a nutshell, the literally tons of dollars invested across the globe in Flex code is equivalent to an insurance that Flex will stil be here years from now… and even if Flash Player should become obsolete at some point thanks to the growing maturity of HTML, then certainly by then there will be a plethora of compilers that can take MXML and ECMAscript and output both native apps for devices as well as HTML, CSS and JavaScript for every other target… projects are already being formed as this post is both being written and now read to achieve this…

More pointers will come as to why there is no reason to think that Flex is gone with the wind, let Adobe catch their breath and give them a chance to share their plans, and they certainly will in the very near future…

Adobe Flex

Could Flex be compiled to JavaScript ?

One of the initial thoughts popping to mind about Flex following the latest transpiration of events is to simply output the ActionScript and Flex to JavaScript, HTML and CSS…

Great idea, everybody wins, its not impossible aand Adobe could have chosen to pursue this vision, but the obvious lack of adding to the revenuestream by such and initiative would have made little sense…
So, upon open-sourcing it Adobe could very well give birth to such a project since they have promised to keep contributing to Flex even after they have given it away… however in lack of such indications, the community is stepping up and starting such initiatives far and wide across the Fle community.

This is certainly something which could ease the future transition from Flash Platform to the Open Web Technology Stack and therefore something that would be very welcomed…

Cros-compiling this way is seen before and would certainly be possible and yours truly is determined to get involved at the slightest opportunity you could contribute constructively or morally… both are needed on the projects to aspire from the community over the coming months…

Stay tuned for concrete info…


In its quest to provide patients with relevant information about health options abroad, the medical tourism guide Novasans today launches its new, improved, online portal and directory for healthcare travel.


Check out more on www.novasans.com

Interactive source to medical tourism and healthcare travel

Ten months after Novasans launched its first online medical travel guide, a new, enhanced, website is introduced to accommodate the rapidly increasing number of visitors.

The new Novasans website focuses mainly on supplying medical tourism information through the following areas and means:

  • User-friendliness
  • Patient intelligence
  • Interactivity
  • Transparency
  • Relevancy
  • Latest News and Instant Updates

New features on the updated Novasans.com

  • A directory featuring over 2,000 hospitals, clinics, medical travel agents, and spas across the world;
  • Improved hospital and clinic profiles featuring facility info, photos, videos, patient stories, and doctor CV’s;
  • Possibility to compare and connect directly to healthcare facilities;
  • Interactive areas; patient ratings, reviews, comments, and forums;
  • Extended patient guides for treatments, destinations, prices, and travel information;
  • Fresh design;
  • Updated and simplified directory search function;

Patients’ increased need for relevant healthcare information and options

The managing director and founder of Novasans, Ms. Victoria Svederberg, says, “The growth of the medical tourism industry is spurred by a wide range of factors, such as higher costs and long waiting times in the patient’s home countries, more flexible and lower international travel costs, along with improved infrastructure and technology in the provider countries.”

Ms. Svederberg continues, “A natural outcome of increased travel is the number of international patients admitted to hospitals for various injuries and medical conditions during their journeys. When experiencing the excellent service, professionalism and technology at these medical institutions, the potential anxiety of traveling abroad for elective treatments is diminished.

On Novasans’ objective she states, “The Internet revolution has made information available for anyone, anywhere. However, the rapid expansion of online information, and the anonymity of the Internet, can aggravate the possibility of finding relevant, truthful information about healthcare abroad. Novasans condenses the massive plethora of information on the Internet, and presents patients with relevant and updated information about medical and healthcare options abroad.”

Now, why is this important, well its important because its on of the first advanced web applications combining a knowledge database referencing basically every medical operator in a specific region.
The domain for medical tourism has been growing incredibly over the last couple of years and is showing no signs of weakening, quite the contrary despite recession etc.

Now, medical tourism ties in very closely to a dear domain of mine: eHealth, a term for healthcare practice supported by electronic processes and communication.
We will see this particular domain explode in arbitrary directions over the next 5 years in all kinds of ways which today may seem like science fiction. However, its reality today that your EHR (Electronic Health Record) is already online in many cases, typically by being embedded in network-connected enterprise-wide information systems.
Your EHR may include a whole range of data in comprehensive or summary form, including demographics, medical history, medication and allergies, immunization status, laboratory test results, radiology images, vital signs, personal stats like age and weight, and billing information.
The purpose of putting an EHR online can be understood as a complete record of patient encounters that allows the automation and streamlining of the workflow in health care settings and increases safety through evidence-based decision support, quality management, and outcomes reporting.

About Novasans

Novasans, founded in 2009, is the leading online guide to medical tourism and healthcare travel. The information portal comprises the most comprehensive directory to medical treatments, plastic surgery, dental, and wellness procedures abroad. The website is an unbiased guide providing patients will all information necessary before choosing to go abroad for health related treatments.
Novasans is the only existing Web 2.0 based medical tourism source, where private persons and healthcare providers can meet and exchange information, opinions and offerings. On Novasans, readers receive daily updates on the latest information about the medical tourism industry and research within the healthcare field.
Compare and Contact hospitals, clinics, and spas online

Novasans features interactive functions such as forums, patient reviews/recommendations, and the ability for potential patients to compare and contact hospitals, clinics, and wellness institutions all over the world for quotations and bookings. On Novasans, patients will find truthful and transparent information necessary to make secure and affordable choices, just right for them.


Dough Winnie's Top 5 Predictions for 2011

Mr. Adobe Topnotch Coder Dough Winnie is sharing his top 5 predictions for this coming year…

Dough Winnie's Top 5 Predictions for 2011

  1. More Tools To Ease The Pain Of MultiScreen Development
  2. Help Designers Meet The Business Needs Of Small Business Clients
  3. Tools For All Stages Of Ideation From Innovation To Actualization
  4. Services And Capabilities That Help Game Designers Make Money
  5. Frameworks And Tools To Facilitate And Support HTML5 Development

However, don’t just read my extraction of the key points, watch the video and enjoy always entertaining Mr. Doug Winnie entertain while delivering some solid arguments, such as the one below…

“…Fight for the designer and the developer that need to make sure that web standards bodies understand their pain !”

Check it out…


Finally MAX came… now I can start talking again !

This MAX is going to go through MAX history as one of the big ones…
On every front Adobe has great news to be announced, and this also means I can start sharing all the stuff I have been working on.

Having had to postpone my book since the initial release of Flash Catalyst wasn’t the full interaction design tool which the book was set out to cover, the Adobe MAX prerelease version shows how close we are to the initial vision, and therefore its time to talk about how we use it again.

Project “Panini” (next version of Flash Catalyst) and Project “Burrito” (next version of Flash Builder) has what it takes to become a game changer… so expect things to change and loads of information about the new versions to come here.
Especially you can expect loads of stuff on Flex Mobile, LiveCycle and Application Extensibility.


Spanair… from bad to worse to great

From bad to worse to great… this sums up my experience today with Spanair flying back to Copenhagen from the Mobile World Congress.
My return flight was via Madrid with a 3 hrs. layover with not other consolation than my Star Alliance Gold status which would allow me inside the Airport lounges for comfortable chairs, free coffee and mediocre internet, however this flight was not meant to be.
Having come to the airport in the wee hours of the morning in order to save money on the hotel budget (hotels in Barcelona reaches outrages prices during the major conferences), I had already spent the most of the night on the floor, only separated from the chilly marble tiles by my coat and the suit I had been wearing all day since that same morning when I had boarded the plane from Copenhagen to fly into the conference. So when the Airport lounge opened at 5 AM I made sure to get one of the attractive corner seats, set the alarm clock and fell a sleep. Awakened, not by the alarm clock, but a couple of messages beeping in on my cell, I felt assured that I showed due diligence by observing the flight status on the departure screen. The gate was not far from the lounge so I decided to sit out the boarding status and just go to the gate when it went into Last Call state… mistake number one !
Having fallen a sleep again, I was eventually awakened by my alarm clock. Soon after regaining consciousness I went to the monitor and to my surprise saw the flight having reached Last Call state… surprised I grab my stuff and run to the gate… Arriving at the gate I’m told by the typically less than helpful Spanish gate attendant that the plane had left already… confused and dazed look at the clock on my iPhone and to my great dismay I realize that its still set to London time which is one hour behind compared to Barcelona… I asked why the sign still said Last Call when it actually was the case that the gate was closed… she responded that because she was still working with the computer, the state of the gate would not go into Closed.
She resumed serving a couple of distinguished gentlemen whom I expect was in the same situation as I, but somehow had managed to motivate the less than before youthful attendant to serve their needs more than she felt compelled by my panda eyes (generally sad-looking and very dark around the eyeballs) to assist me in my quest to get back to Copenhagen.
She continued to advice me to go to the Spanair Ticketing office for a change of flights… for good measurement I took at picture at the overhead monitor displaying the infamous Last Call state and by that triggering an offended “Do you know what time it is, Sir” from the attendant as I started the death march to an office of unknown whereabouts. Naturally there was no point in attempting a clever response as I very well knew what time it was and only remotely her mistake that I missed the flight as I had already slept through the departure time sitting in the comfortable lounge chairs.
Having reached the ticketing office, I’m for some reason not surprised that there are no people in sight, moving along the isle of ticketing offices I finally reach the information desk who can inform me that I need to go to the Ticketing office outside the Terminal (eventually passed baggage, security and all the other measures the Airport management has installed purely for out amusement and continuous entertainment. A visit to an airport today has a certain resemblance to a roller-coaster ride in an amusement park).
Finally I reach the next stop on this flight which turns out to become a marathon of challenges to both bodily stamina and mental patience, the outside Ticketing office for Spanair.
After having described the situation to the young guy at the counter, he quickly (after Spanish standards, in Denmark it would have been described as excruciatingly slow) responds that all is sold out and that he can not change my ticket. Not being satisfied with this I put my Star Alliance Gold card on the counter and instruct him that I’m a Star Alliance Gold member and that there must be something he can do. Not knowing if this bold move would pay off anything but annoyance from the young guy behind the bullet-proof glass, I’m refueled with optimism as he takes my card and restarts typing what appears to be random keys into a computer running a computer-program hidden from my view. After what appears to be an eternity, he hands me back my former boarding-card for the flight, I missed, my passport and my Start Alliance Gold card and tells me to go to Checkin Counter 514 where the person will issue my boarding card… and then he runs off and closes the counter.
Quickly regaining my composure, I start walking in a rapid tempo towards Checkin Counter 514 where there hopefully will be a boarding card awaiting me. Not knowing if this eventually will be the case or not, I queue up as I get to the counter quite happy that its the Business Class counter and hence allowing me to skip the line of apr. 150 people waiting in line for the 4 open Economy class Checkin counters.
When it finally is my turn it turns out that I most likely has been sent for a ride by the young delinquent at the Ticketing counter… however, when I the third time explain the situation to the sweet lady at the counter, she finally understands and responds by grabbing my documents and starts typing in what appears to be equally random characters into the computer as the young delinquent at the Ticketing office. With s subtle expression of slight indignation she responds that she indeed has found my ticket and she asks if its ok if I fly directly to Copenhagen and hence missing my much anticipated layover in Madrid, I naturally respond that it will a sacrifice, but that we all must make sacrifices from time to time… this lightens up her mood a bit and she signs off with wishing me a safe flight.
Being tremendously happy that I was rebooked on an even better flight than the original and without any additional cost, I head off to security in a pace which can not be interpreted as anything else than impatient.
Eventually making it through the line of people queued up for security check, I realize by glanzing on my boarding card that the name on the card matches not my name, but a guy called Peter Fritz Mortensen who seems to have been booked on this flight on seat 35D !! For some reason the lady had mistakenly thought that Peter is not a common name in Denmark and had apparently printed the boarding card for the first Peter on the list. Now getting a bit desperate with the outlook of not getting out of Spain in the near foreseeable future, I partly run, partly stumble back to the Checkin Counter 514 to see what can be done about my recent identity involuntary identity crisis.
Had I not been through problems before, I was sure going through it now… The operation of taking back the boarding card for the other Peter and giving me the right one proved to be among the most difficult situations an Airport clerk can face.
After 3-4 phonecalls (I lost track sitting with my head between my legs next to the counter) she finally was able to print MY boarding pass and hand it to me accompanied by a very sincere excuse (she was apparently truly embarrassed) and a set of puppy eyes well fitted for a 3 week old puppy of a Labrador K9.
Revalidating that every piece of data was correct on the boarding pass I reiterate through security and the other amusements in the Airport amusement park, I finally make it back to the Lounge where I’m now sitting sharing with you this story.
Determined to make my flight, I have positioned myself adjacent to the monitor and there is no way I this time will miss my flight, however if I do I will be sure to share the story with you at a later point when I’m released from the prison or asylum where they have put me.
Having arrived now to Copenhagen, I’m so very pleased that I made it, however not only did I make it back – I made it back 3 hours earlier than I originally would have done with my flight via Madrid…

I would like to thank everyone at Spanair for giving me this opportunity to share this story – a story I expect for many frequent travelers is trivial – however for me might just be the beginning of a lifelong career as a generally disgruntled and pessimistic passenger… We will see about that…


How to type upside down letters & backwards text ?

How does this tool flip text up side down and backward?

The JavaScript program converts English letters to unicode characters and symbols that look inverted, to make it look like you’ve created upside-down text on the computer. Most of them come from the character sets “Latin Extended” and “International Phonetic Alphabet”. Unfortunately there are no upside down numbers and not enough upside down capital letters, so this tool supports lowercase letters only. This page uses the font “Arial Unicode MS” to display the flipped text. You can learn the letter mapping behind this upside down text generator by viewing this page’s html source code. Enjoy this trick on internet forum, blog, IM, & chat!

Check it out…


Book a Reclining chair in Zurich Airport

In the near future I will be flying through Zurich where I have been so unfortunate that my itinerary includes what most be considered an overnight stay in Zurich. Instead of heading with the AirTrain into Zurich Downtown and acquiring some humble lodging in the area around the Train station, I have this time decided to stay in the airport.
However, the Star Alliance Business Lounge closes at 23:00 and its the lounge with latest closing time (The Senator lounge already closes at 22:30), so I wanted to ensure that my stay in the airport would be as nice as possible.
Browsing the Zurich Airport website, I found the page offering Dayrooms and Reclining Chairs (reclining chairs that you can even book for an overnight stay), today I then received the booking confirmation… how cool is that !?


Check it out…


TheFunTheory/RolighetsTeorin… The PianoStairs Experiment

Sometimes its important to think out of the box, and I believe that’s what I believe these guys and girls did when they came up with the idea about the pianostairs…
The solution of making pianostairs as an alternative to escalator and normal “boring” stairs is based on the funtheory (that making things fun will make the critical difference).

Check out the video at youtube…

However, don’t be mistaken… the experiment is sponsored by Volkswagen, so it’s not for your blue eyes only they did it… nevertheless, it doesn’t change the fact that we can change user behavior by making the action itself fun to do…

You can check out the video above and the other funtheory videos at the funtheory website…