Frenchman Loic LeMeur has been referred to most often as a "serial entrepreneur." While that sounds vaguely sinister or ADD, he does have quite a track record.
I know I am somewhat late to the party in coming across these rules of the game, but in these times of economic uncertainty, they seemed especially apt. These are his 10 Rules for Startup Success:
1- Don’t wait for a revolutionary idea. It will never happen. Just focus on a simple, exciting, empty space and execute as fast as possible.
2- Share your idea. The more you share, the more you get advice and the more you learn. Meet and talk to your competitors. (This was my favorite rule. On its face, it seems counter intuitve but it really isn’t.)
3- Build a community. Use blogging and social software to make sure people hear about you.
4- Listen to your community. Answer questions and build your product with their feedback.
5- Gather a great team. Select those with very different skills from you. Look for people who are better than you.
6- Be the first to recognize a problem. Everyone makes mistakes. Address the issue in public, learn about and correct it.
7- Don’t spend time on market research. Launch test versions as early as possible. Keep improving the product in the open.
8- Don’t obsess over spreadsheet business plans. They are not going to turn out as you predict anyway.
9- Don’t plan a big marketing effort. It’s much more important and powerful that your community loves the product.
10- Don’t focus on getting rich. Focus on your users. Money is a consequence of success, not a goal.