This post by Derek Powazek over on Om Malik’s startup resource site, FoundRead, is a good read that rings true to this former journalist and tech enthusiast. Here are two point I would add about the lessons that can benefit both journalists and startup founders:
- As Powazek says in Lesson 4, both have to “produce something.” The unfortunate consequence of this is that the external pressure to produce, driven not by the needs of the story or the company itself, too often results in “something” that is a piece of junk. Of course, a Web startup can iterate and improve quickly. Journalists are getting better at that, but they still put out papers that are too often full of deadline-induced crud.
- In journalism there’s a saying about half-baked ideas: “That’s a subject, not a story.” For example, if you go to your editor and say, “I want to write about this hot new Twitter thing,” they will (hopefully) reply: “What about it? Twitter is a subject, not a story.” The equivalent in the startup world is: “It’s a feature, not a company.” Of course many great features get started, funded, and bought by actual companies. Thankfully so.