Video Of The Week: The Golden Rules

Here’s an oldie but goodie. I think it is as true of mobile apps as web apps.

The 10 Golden Principles of Successful Web Apps from Carsonified on Vimeo.


Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    ocd?don’t blog for the sake of it. enjoy japan. come back refreshed. i will comment no more until you’re back in nyc. happy new year to you, your family, and everyone at avc.

    1. ShanaC

      i second this opinion!

    2. andyswan

      Disagree. Part of is the consistency of the show. It’s how you build an audience…. Especially one that will turn a blind eye when you mail it in every once in a while…

      1. William Mougayar

        Exactly, despite that I would gain 30 mins per day otherwise.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          I end up being here for hours if I get involved in conversation..

          1. William Mougayar

            Write shorter comments. ­čÖé

          2. Matt A. Myers


      2. fredwilson

        I think you are on to me andy

        1. Matt A. Myers

          There’s the paranoia coming out, to go along with the OCD, ADD, dyslexia, etc.. Kidding of course.

        2. Wavelengths

          Don’t you hate it when your virtual extended family here actually figures you out?Really … we won’t go away if you immerse yourself in this vacation!

        3. Richard

          Yep, “A man (or woman) who does not think for himself does not think at all.ÔÇŁ Oscar Wilde

      3. LE

        “Especially one that will turn a blind eye when you mail it in every once in a while… “Women Spouses are like that as well. What I will call the “collective woman spouse” meaning “women Spouse in general” (at least any one that I would want to be with) will make as if you need to relax and not work as hard etc. All that is fine and good as long as you bring home the bacon and there are no money problems. At that point all that talk about not working so hard goes out the window.Adding to that point I have always found that anytime anyone gives you advice or how to spend your time and what to do they will never be there to clean up the mess if you follow their advice (“relax everything will be ok”) and things go wrong.Then there is the “deathbed” type sayings that seem to indicate that you could have worked less or not worried as much and everything will be fine. But it won’t necessarily be fine. The reason you can think that is that you put in the effort and things turned out. If they hadn’t you’d think you should have worried more and worked harder.

      4. takingpitches

        So agree. You can’t detach from a child even when on vacation. That you even take the few minutes to say you have been an “absent bartender” demonstrates to me at least how seriously you take this community you have created..

      5. kidmercury

        siding with andy in this beef. it’s all about the ritual, the routine.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Discipline.Edit: Here’s a post I did on this, relating to when Fred blogged about it —

      6. Richard

        Yep, “stay the fight” is motivating …”stay the fight, ill be back in two week enjoying japan” not so much so.

    3. StartUpJerkFest

      seriously, i was thinking the same thing. how do you enjoy a vacation if you’re still attached to this thing WHILE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ON VACATION!

      1. fredwilson

        To each his own. This post took me all of two minutes to do. I’ve spent more time explaining myself to you guys while i wait for my family to join me at breakfast.

        1. Dave Pinsen

          What was for breakfast?

          1. Donna Brewington White

            What do you think this is, Twitter? Oy.

          2. Dave Pinsen

            Was just curious if traditional breakfasts in Japan were similar to the “Japanese breakfasts” that I used to order at hotels in San Francisco and Seattle. Also wondering if the place where Fred was staying served coffee.

        2. JamesHRH

          LOL. High & inside heat!

      2. LE

        “how do you enjoy a vacation if you’re still attached to this thing WHILE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ON VACATION!”Not speaking for Fred but did it occur to you that there are people out there that enjoy doing some work on vacation because they enjoy what they do? That they like to check in, answer emails etc. and find pleasure in that?I’ve regularly gotten off the beach, gotten into my car and driven to a Starbucks (in sunny nice weather) and have done things on my laptop because I enjoy what I do. Not because I have to or it’s expected or it will even change the outcome.I consider myself lucky because both my wife and my old girlfriend had to go to medical conferences and that left me with a portion of the day to do my work instead of schlepping around with them.

        1. JimHirshfield

          A wife _and_ a girlfriend? You are lucky LE!!

        2. JamesHRH

          Changing the ratio is a vacation (90/10 work relax to 10/90).

    4. fredwilson

      Maybe. I have traits of OCD, ADD, dyslexia, and a host of other disorders. I view them all as assets.I just like there to be an anchor for discussion here every day.

      1. Matt A. Myers

        Everyone has traits of those. It only usually becomes a problem when one fully takeovers – similarly with subpersonalities.

        1. LE

          Problem is the DSM doesn’t have a way of defining a combination of things as being “generally fucked up syndrome – otherwise not defined”.I’m sure you’ve met people who don’t meet the criteria for a particular disorder but might meet 50% of the criteria for 4 different disorders. OF COURSE THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THEM. And those criteria are totally arbitrary anyway. Developed strictly as a way to put psychiatry on par with other medical specialties that have more concrete ways of determining if something is wrong.Fred by the way is of the age group when people weren’t treated differently because of any disability or trait. You just had to work harder or you were SOL. There is something to be said for that. My handwriting was always bad. So I learned to type (in hs from a book) and even convinced a college professor to allow me to use a typewriter by pleading my case. Not by having my mommy fight my battle for me (as is done today). Having to do that (as well as other things) and having to overcome any adversity whether large or small is a positive.

          1. Matt A. Myers

            It’s not a great thing to get caught up in our mental health system in North America nowadays either. And you can’t blame the children, or perhaps even the parents – we’ve had multiple generations now of bad role modelling for the general population, especially with the extra impact and distractions of mass media and the messaging they put out, and lack of actual thinking — and more importantly the lack of feeling — that that allows.And on a sidenote — I’ve not sensed anything terribly wrong with Fred when I’ve been around him. ­čśŤ

      2. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

        +100 on ‘view them all as assets”…There are a buch of proverbs on ‘knows’ and ‘knows not’ … in almost all old culture (persian, sanskrit, chinese, arabic ) …I think you belong to the following …”He who knows and knows that he knows is a wise man; follow him.”These are the other 2-proverbs on knows and knows not.”He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is a child – teach him.””He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is asleep – wake him.”

    5. John Revay

      Sorry I Don’t agree w/ you.I think it is great that he takes the time to post something every day – I think he has done so for the last 8+ years….It like if you are on a diet and you skip a day…and the you skip another day…This is Part of Fred’s brand promise – come each day and there is something new posted – even if it is a video from 3 years ago….. I was not part of this community 3 years ago and never saw this video or original post – I am glad I did – great common sense stuff

  2. William Mougayar

    Oldies are classics. This list should be a poster or t-shirt. SpeedInstant utility VoiceLess is more ProgrammablePersonal RESTfulDiscoverable Clean Playful S I V L P P R D C P 

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Grimlock should do a picture version of this …

  3. scottythebody

    I dig ’em Recently lost a RESTful battle (to a bunch of academic SOA people), so I feel ya.

  4. David Roman

    Just to extend on the marketing question towards the end, i think it’s important for founding teams to view marketing as means of a way to compensate for a flawed product. MVP if taken too literal can become detrimental. If you solve a legitimate problem in a flawless way, that in itself will create such significant value that the product should ultimately speak for itself which will get people talking. That’s what I strive towards when working on anything.

    1. Wavelengths

      Nicely stated.

    2. George

      Marketing compensating for a flawed product, how true! We see that everywhere…Very few companies are passionate enough to deliver on product expectations.

  5. george

    “Less is More,” that’s my favorite and still holds true. I think it’s really important to be good at one or two things instead of trying to serve everything.

    1. David Roman

      practicing minimalism while optimizing efficiency is a skill that requires an immense understanding of people, in particular main stream users. I see way too many products today where it is blatant that the founders are out of touch with those outside of their bubble. it’s more important than ever before in my opinion for tech founders to balance their worlds and immerse themselves with the “normals”

  6. Bruce Warila

    Great video when you posted it the first time; still a great video. Does anyone have the text / list / checklist version of this advice?

      1. Bruce Warila

        Thanks. Realizing now I could have searched. This will help anyone like me that has a kid in his lap. Cheers.

  7. aminTorres

    Fred, I be interested to know the word you forgot when you describe the 6 words you guys live by at USV.

    1. Paul Geller

      I was wondering the same thing. What was the sixth word USV live by? 1. Mobile 2. Social 3. Global 4. Playful 5. Intelligent 6. ?????

      1. Donna Brewington White

        A contest? Whoever guesses #6 gets funded or a job at USV?

        1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

          I thought Fred told that already in the post 2-days ago .. “utility” or “value” … btw does USV fund start-ups in India? ­čÖé

          1. AndrewsProject

            I image they would if:1. It fell into the category they are interested in2. They started using the product and liked it3. They bought the team and liked the team

    2. Donna Brewington White

      Something along the lines of being scalable or sustainable is my guess. I’m willing to be publicly wrong.

  8. Richard

    Keep On With The Force Don’t StopDon’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough (Michael Jackson)Great postThere is a myth that life is discrete, healthy v sick, working c vacationLife is continuous

    1. JamesHRH

      Totally agree, lots of successful people have very few hard lines between work & play, colleagues & friends. Their life is a pastiche.That being said, the @bradfeld approach (go hells bells for 11 weeks, drop of the grid for 1 also works) although that tends to be exclusive to people without children, I think.

      1. Richard

        Just seizing the opportunity to quote, michael jackson ­čÖé

  9. William Mougayar

    If you add @fakegrimlock list of laws for startups, then you have Platinum Rules. http://www.extremestartups….

  10. JamesHRH

    Signpost on the digital omnipresence highway.USAir & GoGo Internet do_s _ot qui_e strea_ the _id_o.Nuts.

  11. jean michel

    Just curious: do people still talk a lot about “game mechanics”?

    1. Donna Brewington White

      I don’t know but recently I heard someone use the term “social mechanics” and thought wow that’s good. And whether talking about game mechanics or not, they are really just a way of talking about human behavior that can be applied to product development. Don’t you think?

  12. Donna Brewington White

    The decision to watch this won out over Foyle’s War and was a great listen. Timely, because today I was reflecting on a post about 10th grade tech trends (and what they portend) and also the fact that my 11 y.o. son has become an overnight instagram success with no previous social media exposure and no instruction whatsoever on how to use it. He was able to just figure it out. Some of that may be his natural abilities (he also makes short videos using legos) but much of it has to do with the product. No wonder it is such a hit. Meets your rules, I think.BTW, I was reading the comments and listening at the same time. Just after the discussion on whether you should post while on vacation, I heard “I don’t know if any of you knows what REST means.” I think rest means different things to each of us.

  13. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    How different are those rules for Mobile Apps except for form and fit? I assume they are the same ……we talk a lot about three fff’s in manufacturing … form, fit and functionality … if anyone of the ‘f’ is different we call it a different version.P.S. I liked the way you distinguish fox-news and CNN with their attitude and style and how they are unique and both have their own audience….especially the attitude and they don’t change it and that’s why they have their ‘own glued audience’.

  14. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    I just saw these BW photographs from 1930’s on nytimes lens blog … hope some of you will enjoy…i) ‘central park NY’ii) ‘amateur match’iii) ‘lunch time’

  15. jason wright

    I think Fred’s cleared Japanese air space, and so I’ll resume.Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and addiction is the fear of letting go.

  16. gullfaraz

    How different are those rules for Mobile Apps except for form and fit? I assume they are the same ……we talk a lot about three fff’s in manufacturing … form, fit and functionality … if anyone of the ‘f’ is different we call it a different version.P.S. I liked the way you distinguish fox-news and CNN with their attitude and style and how they are unique and both have their own audience….especially the attitude and they don’t change it and that’s why they have their ‘own glued audience’.

  17. Chuck Sullivan

    Very nice post. Can always reorganize to build a memorable acronym.SPECIAL DVR(S) peed(P) rogrammableP (e) rsonal(C) lean(I) nstant utilityPl (a) yful(L) ess is more(D) iscoverable(V) oice (R) ESTful

  18. AndrewsProject

    “The product has to be a marketing vehicle for the product itself” great line

  19. William Mougayar

    It needs a couple more voyels and maybe it would be pronouncable ­čÖé