I originally wrote this post in 2012 because many entrepreneurs asked me about my experience at Friendster.  Although a few years old now, the lessons still remain true today. The abridged version is shown below but to see the full text, be sure to read the original post.
  • Focus.  It’s critical for a startup to have a clear focus, especially early on!  Focus comes in many flavors.  One key area of focus is product-focus.
  • Product (ship new product fast & often).  A start-up must balance the need and desire to constantly innovate to stay interesting, fresh and ahead of the competition with the critical need to stay focused!
  • Performance.  The site must be fast!  Friendster made some early ‘bet the company’ issues on the product side that proved to be very costly.
  • Technology (& Good Luck).  Don’t experiment with the newest technologies when you have a fast growing startup!
  • Viral.  If the goal is to grow fast without spending a fortune, one must focus on viral features!
  • Customers.  Know Thy Customer!
  • Hiring.  You must hire A+ players!  There was a lot of pressure early on at Friendster to hire quickly, especially on the engineering team.  Friendster tried to hire too many people too quickly.
  • Leadership.  A start-up needs to have steady leadership, especially at the top!  Great leadership is required for companies’ success at any level.
  • Politics.  There’s no place for politics in a fast-moving startup.
  • Revenue.  Focus on the Product First, Revenue later!  This is a tough one for many start-ups and frankly not always the right call.

Post Navigation