Great post at http://onstartups.com/tabid/3339/bid/11539/Startup-Advice-In-Exactly-Three-Words-StartupTriplets.aspx

Startup Triplets:  Startup Advice In Exactly Three Words

1.  Watch your cash. 
2.  Pick founders carefully. 
3.  Hire generalists early. 
4.  Hire specialists later. 
5. Invest in culture. 
6. Avoid tempting distractions. 
7.  Support customers maniacally. 
8.  Avoid business plans. 
9.  Write a blog. 
10. Never fudge numbers. 
11. Encourage diverse thinking. 
12. Guard your time. 
13.  Defer renting space.
14. Get enough sleep. 
15.  Delay raising capital. 
16.  Persist through downturns. 
17.  Decide with data. 
18.  Improve product daily. 
19. Recognize revenue consistently. 
20. Start charging early. 
21. Reward early adopters. 
22. Sell something today. 
23. Say “NO” often. 
24. Accept imperfect data. 
25.  Recruit with zest. 
26. Nurture your best. 
27.  Treat vendors well. 
28. Believe in yourself. 
29. Respect your competitors. 
30. Try something new. 
31. Build a brand. 
32. Focus, focus, focus. 
33. Iterate more often. 
34. Use your product. 
35. Live your vision. 
36. Encourage rational debate. 
37. Make decisions swiftly. 
38. Face harsh realities. 
39. Don’t break laws. 
40. Protect your health. 
41. Celebrate your successes. 
42. Cancel unnecessary meetings. 
43. Improve emloyee’s resumes. 
44. Beware big bullies. 
45. Share the experience. 
46. Maintain your relationships. 
47. Keep it fun. 

Came across an obituary of Eugene Kleiner while browsing. He is the K in the famous VC KPCB. Eugene Kleiner was a part of the “traitorous eight”, who left their jobs at Shockley Labs and co-founded Fairchild Semiconductors. Eugene played a major role in attracting initial venture into the project. After the success of Fairchild Semiconductors, Eugene turned into a venture capitalist himself. What really inspires me about Eugene is the fact that he played all three parts necessary in a successful technology company, viz. the inventor, the entrepreneur and later on the venture capitalist.

He laid out certain rules for VCs, which are commonly referred to as Kleiner’s laws:

  • Make sure the dog wants to eat the dog food. No matter how ground-breaking a new technology, how large a potential market, make certain customers actually want it.
  • Build one business at a time. Most business plans are overly ambitious. Concentrate on being successful in one endeavor first.
  • Risk up front, out early.
  • The time to take the tarts is when they’re being passed.
  • The problem with most companies is they don’t know what business they’re in.
  • Even turkeys can fly in a high wind. In times of strong economies, even bad companies can look good.
  • It’s easier to get a piece of an existing market than to create a new one.
  • It’s difficult to see the picture when you’re inside the frame.
  • After learning some of the tricks of the trade, some people think they know the trade. This reflected some of Eugene’s own humility; he recognized that many venture capitalists thought they were experts when they had just a bit of knowledge.
  • Venture capitalists will stop at nothing to copy success.
  • Invest in people, not just products. Eugene always respected founding entrepreneurs. He wanted to build companies with them not just with their ideas.