1. Make it easy

People don’t like complex processes. Think lazy. Software needs simplicity to succeed in this new era.

2. Concentrate on the universal

When Steve Jobs was thinking about launching a mobile device in 2000, his staff pushed him to launch a Personal Digital Assistant. After all, more and more people were bringing them to meetings. Jobs didn’t think most people needed a PDA. But people had been listening to music since the dawn of mankind. So he launched an MP3 player instead.

3. Focus on the human condition

Most people are dissatisfied with search engines – not because they don’t know how to search, but simply because they don’t know what they want. If you can work it out for them, you will become rich.

4. Feel the power

Expect people to follow life instructions on mobile phones just as blindly. Be careful what you ask people to do – because they may well do it.

5. Think retro

Home dressmaking was dying in the 1990s. Then BurdaStyle.com started offering downloadable dress patterns. Alongside this, it created a home dressmaking community, allowing women to share pictures of dresses they had made online. Home dressmaking is now on the up again. If an idea once fulfilled a need, it could do so again.

And finally, here is a warning:

Never forget consumer need

In the internet boom of the late 1990s, entrepreneurs stopped talking about consumer needs and started talking about business models instead. Business models are nice. But if your business does not fulfil a consumer need, it will never fly.

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