VC Ram Shriram of Sherpalo Ventures has tips for startups in the Dec 2006 issue of Business 2.0
Silicon Valley entrepreneur; Director, Google
Give Your Startup a Fighting Chance
1. Hire smart. Setting the DNA of a company starts with the founders, and hiring is the No. 1 pitfall for young ventures. Don't compromise on quality, verify passion, stay focused on doing one thing really well. The motivation should be to build something of value for the long term.
2. Define the market problem. Rather than rush to form a venture, think hard about the problem you're solving. Break it down into easily understandable pieces so you can explain it first to yourself.
3. Simplify the solution. Set specific goals and milestones to get you to a stage of validation; that ensures that your efforts and energies will be well spent. At that point, be flexible and open to changes. It's better to have half a product with a brutal triage of features at launch than to have a half-assed product.