I like Paul Graham’s essay on How to Start a Startup. An enjoyable read with lots of good stuff. For example, he says that having great people is more important than great ideas:
What matters is not ideas, but the people who have them. Good people can fix bad ideas, but good ideas can’t save bad people.
and this is an interesting viewpoint:
In technology, the low end always eats the high end. It’s easier to make an inexpensive product more powerful than to make a powerful product cheaper. So the products that start as cheap, simple options tend to gradually grow more powerful till, like water rising in a room, they squash the “high-end” products against the ceiling. Sun did this to mainframes, and Intel is doing it to Sun. Microsoft Word did it to desktop publishing software like Interleaf and Framemaker. Mass-market digital cameras are doing it to the expensive models made for professionals. Avid did it to the manufacturers of specialized video editing systems, and now Apple is doing it to Avid.
Henry Ford did it to the car makers that preceded him. If you build the simple, inexpensive option, you’ll not only find it easier to sell at first, but you’ll also be in the best position to conquer the rest of the market.
It’s very dangerous to let anyone fly under you. If you have the cheapest, easiest product, you’ll own the low end.