Note, this advice is from Mat circa 2016 and applies to first-time SaaS product inventors with little to no traction. Take it with that perspective and a grain of salt.

  1. You aren't special because you decided you wanted to start a startup.
  2. Your idea is average until proven otherwise by growth or revenue.
  3. You are a Product Manager before you are a CEO.
  4. Don't outsource development or design.
  5. Getting the product right is more important than anything else you do.
  6. The only way to get the product right is by building, talking to users, then iterating. Repeat.
  7. If you want to be in business in 5 years, you'll spend 6 months doing user interviews now.
  8. If you're spending your time doing anything other than building your product and talking to users, its most likely a waste of time.
  9. You will lose focus. You will do things that have nothing to do with product development like spending 3 hours learning about marketing campaigns or spending 2 hours ramping up your social media channels. This is losing focus. Learn to recognize when you've lost it, figure out why you lost it, and get back on track as soon as possible.
  10. Don't spend money on software that doesn't relate to the two points made in #8.
  11. Listen to potential customers. Their words are the key to your success.
  12. Pivot only when data tells you to.
  13. Average ideas with brilliant execution are worth more than brilliant ideas with average execution.
  14. Don't give up.