Some ideas for web startup

今天起床后花了半个小时粗读了37Signals专门为网络startup定制的初创指导书“Getting Real”,大部分还是命中要点的,也有一些我不太同意的,不过无论如何,看完之后很有冲动写点东西,算是作为总结和补充吧

为你自己来做这个产品。如果你有一个问题,没有现成的产品可以满足,那么理论上这个世界上应该还有很多人跟你一样得不到满足,如果你开发的产品满足了你自己,就可以满足很多顾客。37signals的主打产品Basecamp最初就是为了满足他们自己的需求。当你为了自己的需求而开发出这个产品,你就会对此充满激情,这是最好的动力。

为产品定义一个区别于其他产品的核心功能 ,只要一句话。Less is more。可以战胜竞争对手的,并不是庞大繁杂的功能堆积,而只是一两个别人没有的feature而已。Twitter就是一个例子,如此简单的功能,却远比大公司的产品更受欢迎。后来的抄袭者都迷失了“简单”这个精髓。

外部投资是保底的选择,千万不要为了投资而建公司,对于一个不缺乏资金的产品,不必要的外部投资只会让团队迷失核心vision,自乱阵脚,陷入为钱打工的陷进。现在的时代,硬件已经非常便宜,大部分软件也都有免费的开源替代品,对于一个初创的网络公司,最初的半年真的不需要很多钱。

心团队要小(3人最好),这样才能保持高度灵活性,及时听取市场反应并快速变革。很多大公司就死在庞大的团队沟通和高昂的变革成本上。marketing部分可以外包给单独的一个团队。

快速反应。快速反应。 快速反应。这是小公司的最大优势。

不要试图满足所有人。一个产品如果想满足所有人,最后反而满足不了任何人。产品要有自己的风格和定位,这样才能吸引并保留类似的客户。对于那些永远无法满足的客户,不如直接让他们滚蛋。

保持精简的核心功能,不要盲目扩张到新功能。如果预算和时间不够,宁可把原功能减半,也不要launch一个问题一大堆的新功能

刚开始推出beta version的时候,不需要考虑规模化以后的架构。因为是刚开始,你只需要能运行核心功能,满足人们的需要即可,担心“万一有100万人同时在线怎么办” 太早了,代码的更新周期很短的,不要去担心两年以后才会出现的问题。

让用户自己来告诉你用户需要什么feature,以及不需要什么feature 。取消大部分用户不需要的feature.

减少让用户选择的余地。80%的用户不需要选择,99%的用户不需要思考。用户只需要你清楚地告诉他怎么做,而不是让他来思考如何使用你的产品。

To Mika:

Slove the problem for yourself. If your app can solve your problems, then it can also help other people, who can become your customer one day.

Define a simple essential feature of your product. Less is more. Your advantage is not piling up100 features copied from others, but 1 unique feature others don’t provide and people really need.

Outside money is not necessary nowadays. Don’t lose your vision for cash, especially when you don’t really need it.

Keep small and tight team. Quick reaction and fast change. Agility is the best thing a small company can have.

Don’t try to satisfy all people. No one can do that. Keep your app’s style and it will attract customers with the same style.

Keep less but great features, and don’t launch half-assed feature.

Ask your customer what they like and what they don’t like.

Bring less confusion to customers. 80% of people don’t need PREFERENCE, and 99% don’t want to THINK . Just tell them clearly what they should do, but never make them think about how to do it better.

How to deal with stress?

Keep busy

Don’t hurry

Don’t worry

and Be happy

To Mika:

Just as I told you several times, there is a proverb I believe very much:

A happy man, even he becomes a beggar, he is happy. A free man, even he goes to jail, he is free.

I’m always trying to be a happy and free man. After so many things, I’m pretty sure that it is ATTITUDE which determines all.

Life is always with ups and downs, and in most cases, only sadness makes me realize the existence of happiness. Just like rich men can not feel the necessity of money, but a poor man can feel like heaven when he gets salary doubled.

Life is long process of fighting with problems, and enjoying the happiness of solving problems. When I was a kid, I had problems of growing up, and a little bit later I had to face the trouble of dating pretty girls, then came the problems of keeping love fresh and steady, then I have to struggle with career, marriage, children, disease and death……I have so many trouble in my whole life. If I just look at my long life from high above, I suddenly see that, all the problems I have now, are just small and short-time problems compared with the problems in the future. When I look back to the life and trouble 10 years ago, I’m laughing at myself. How childish boy I was! But I have to admit that all those troubles and problems made me grow up from a child to a man.

Some problems are everyone-will-experience problems, such as graduating from school, looking for a decent job, failure in love…..Everyone face those problems one day. Even you can skip them now, you still have to face it someday. It’s better to be early than late. It made me really annoyed and nervous when I met those stuff for the first time in my life. But fortunately, I did not kill myself because of that. And now I feel really thankful to those problems, because they made me stronger and more experienced of life. It’s easy to fail something when you do it for the first time, but next time you must have a higher successful rate. That’s why divorced men have higher chance to get a better marriage next time. If you feel afraid of looking for a job, you can choose to go to graduate school and doing a doctor’s degree, but after all you still have to face the job. It doesn’t give you any advantage if you start job searching from 30 years old. Be brave! Face what you should face directly!

What kind of a man do you like others to remember you as? “Oh, he is a taxi driver for his whole life”, “He works as editor for 50 years in local newspaper, and he finally became chief editor 5 years ago”, “He was accountant for many companies, and never made even one mistake”……Yes,we can choose this plain type of life. But why don’t we dare to bring something colorful into our life? Maybe one day you can tell your grand children:”I experienced lots of things in my life. I’ve been to a top college, and I had a street stall for several months, then I became a insurance salesman, and later turn into a truck driver. I had 3 girlfriends, 2 failed. I was once beaten by someone, and I also beat someone else. I’ve lost my job once, but I’ve tasted the Kool-aid of being invited by top managers too. I’ve experienced desperate, and ecstasy too. I’ve been to many places, and known all kinds of people, listened to music of all styles, learned many languages. I’ve stayed in slum area, and I’ve been to 5-star hotels too. I’ve been employed, but also started my own company. I’ve been so poor, and also I’ve been very rich…..” Such a life, full of trouble and joy, failure and success, isn’t it a worthy life?

我特别喜欢的一句话是:

快乐的人,即使当乞丐也是快乐的;自由的人,即使在监狱里也是自由的。

在经历了很多事情之后,也逐渐发现,心态才是真正决定幸福的最重要因素。

人生起起落落,总有高潮和低谷,正是因为有了悲伤,才能反衬出幸福的珍贵。有钱人不太能感受钱之珍贵,而收入翻倍的穷人,却能感到人生之极乐。

人生就是一个不断遇到问题,并解决问题,享受成果的过程。出生后面对着长大的问题,长大后开始面对如何追到漂亮女生的困惑,然后就开始面对失恋的阴影,然后开始面对如何经营爱情的问题,接着就是事业,婚姻,孩子,生老病死。。。等等一大堆问题。我们现在遇到的每一个困境,从长远人生的角度来看,其实都是很小很短暂的一个问题,以后的问题还多着呢。10年后回过头来看看现在,多大点事儿啊。但正是这些不断出现的问题,才让人得以成长。

有些事情几乎是每个人成长的必经阶段,比如毕业,找工作,失恋。。。。这些事情给我们带来无尽的压力,干扰了正常的心态和生活。但是,既然这些事情迟早要面对的,那么,早一点来其实更好。越早失恋越早有经验,我见过很多爱情幸福的人都是特早熟特早恋的人;找工作也是,年轻人一直不敢面对,于是浑浑噩噩地读硕士,读博士,拖到30岁再去找工作,反而更加麻烦。

死了之后,希望别人怎样来回忆你的人生?“他卖了一辈子烤红薯”,“他开了一辈子出租车”,“他做了一辈子报社编辑,终于当上了主编”,“他做了一辈子会计,从来没有出过错”。。。。。你可以选择这种平淡的人生。不过,为什么我们不敢让自己的生命更丰富一些,更有传奇色彩一些?60岁的时候,也许你可以对孙辈们说:“你爷爷的一生做过很多事情,读过大学,摆过地摊,当过推销员,开过货车,经历过三个女友,前两次都失败,被别人打过,也打过别人,曾经失业过,也曾经被很多公司来挖,经历过绝望,也经历过狂喜,去过很多地方,见过很多人,听过各种音乐,学过很多语言,住过民工宿舍,也睡过五星级酒店的总统套房,给人打过工,也自己开过公司,当过穷人,也当过富翁。。。。”这样充满困境、压力、失败和成功的人生,不是很值得么?

网络营销中的马太效应

近做了个实验,关于MSN的(L)China话题的。

在这个话题开始流行起来的第一天,我建立了一个网页,页面名称为www.xxxx.com/Msn-L-China/,title为“今天你L了吗?玩msn的中国人都加上(L)China吧”,内容也全是关于这个话题的。第三天的时候,用google搜索“msn l china”或者“今天你L了吗?”,这个网页都排第一位。带来几千个流量。之后,其他网站也开始打“(L)China”这个旗号了,包括it168xinhuanetqihoo等大网站,但是我始终排在google第一位,因为我这个网页是符合这些关键字的“优质内容”里最早的,虽然不是大网站,也没有高PR,但照旧排第一,这就是体现google公正性的先到先得效应(经测试百度无效)。

而这个页面一旦排到第一之后,后面自然就会有更多人点击,赋予更多的SEO权重 ,形成垄断的趋势,这也是马太效应的体现,和前几个月发生的Ryan Durk案例异曲同工。

视频营销也是如此,根据之前的实战经验,一段视频只需要在一开始把播放次数刷到一定的 jumping off point,就会进入滚雪球阶段,看得人越来越多,排名越来越高,又导致更多的人来看,形成良性循环。

简单来说,要在最开始抢占先机,明招暗招歪门邪道都用上,占据一个有利的位置,后面的路就顺畅多了。

生活中也处处存在马太效应,强者愈强,穷者愈穷,开心者愈开心,悲观者愈悲观,可以看看褪墨关于这方面的介绍

后记:现在已经搜不到这个页面了,因为这个trick成功之后,我准备把这个页面继续跟进,打造成google喜欢的优质内容网页,于是又做了一次更新,补充了一些新的内容 ,却因为不小心在里面提了一句“现在西方反\华势力抵\制\奥\运,我们更应该齐心协力。。。。”,被查到敏感关键字而被彻底censor掉了,瞬间从google第一位变成了从网络界完成消失,某傻比部门有时候效率真的很高。后来我只好把内容按照该傻比部门的傻比逻辑好好整顿了一下,更换这个被封杀的网页,换了个名字,变成了xxxx.com/msn_L_China/,24小时之后,重新被google搜索到,但排名已经错过了黄金时期,原来排第二位的已经跳到第一位,无法撼动了(好笑的是,第一位的内容里就有我的链接)。

Alexa排名剧烈改革 Alexa’s ranking system changed

尽早一起来,接到电话说TUCIA的Alexa排名从35万提高到了18万,mipang从8万提高到了3万,先是感到很惊讶,后来突然想起昨天看到过这个消息,但没有想到这么快就影响到中国网站了。看来Alexa toolbar的历史不公终于有望平反了。关于这次排名制度的改革,可以看Alexa的官方说明:http://www.alexa.com/site/company/announcement

4月30号补充:google pagerank今天大幅更新中文网站,手下的几个网站都显著提高。采麦从0跳到了3,更有纪念意义的是,TUCIA终于冷冰冰的google sandbox里跳了出来,PR也从0上升到了3。

What you can do with 20 humans. 你可以用20个人来做什么?

人真是很强大的机器,对于大部分2-3人起家的初创型公司来说,并没有好好利用好这种机器。

兼职雇佣20个人,给他们10台电脑,分散在全国各地,你可以做到哪些事情?

暴光度:20个人每个人工作 8小时,每小时粘贴30篇宣传软文(枪手贴),一天即可发布5000篇,暴光度一夜剧变。去百度贴吧之类的可匿名留言的地方,还可以互相回复,变成热门帖子。

刷流量:让20个同时使用程序,每隔2分钟清空一次cookie并更换ip,然后连接到自己的网站一次(不要刷新),即可让一天的访问IP超过1万4000个。显著提升前期流量和排名,再拿着这份google analytics的报告去跟每天6000个ip的网站谈链接合作。

视频营销:让20个同时使用程序,每隔5秒钟刷新一次Youku里面的广告视频,即可在一小时之内把播放次数搞到12,000次,进入今日热门的第一页。接下来每隔1分钟清空一次cookie并更换ip,顶一次,留言一次,即可在两小时之内积累2400个留言,同时变成“最热话题”和“用户推荐”的第一名。接下来就不需要你营销了,准备下一个视频吧

竞争对手:让20个同时使用程序,每隔2分钟清空一次cookie并更换ip(自动切断ADSL并重新拨号即可) ,24小时不间断刷新竞争对手的网页, 可以让竞争对手带宽告急,陷入疯狂甚至崩溃

To Mika:

Human is a powerful machine for website promotion. If you have 20 people and 20 computers located in 20 different cities, you can do incredible things like:

1.Exposure: There will be 5000 advertising posts all over the websites in 24 hours, if each person copy and paste the same posts.

2. Traffic: Each person uses a small program to clear cookie, redial ADSL(Ip address will be changed) , and visit your website once every 2 minutes, then you can reach 14,000 unique visits each day. Very high traffic for startup websites.

3.Video marketing: Each person uses a small program to replay your video once every 6 seconds, then you can reach 12,000 views in one hour, and get it into the most popular video list.

4. Make rivals crazy: With the same trick, 20 PCs from 20 cities automatically refresh your rivals’ websites 24 hours a day(remember to change your IP and clear cookie once every 5 minutes), they will kill themselves.