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<title>Version 0.1 = Start lo-fi </title>
<p>
First read “<a href="http://sivers.org/infinity">Version ∞</a>” and “<a href="http://sivers.org/early">Early drafts...</a>”. Here's <strong>an example of how I think of “Version 0.1”</strong>:
</p><p>
A guy at a conference was telling me how <strong>he really wanted to build a music recommendation service, but had been trying for a year to raise the $2 million dollars he said it'd take</strong> to build it.
</p><p>
My suggestion for him: <strong>Don't wait for funding. START NOW. Like this:</strong>
</p><ol>
<li>get a dedicated phone number like Google Voice</li>
<li>tell friends to call you at that number for music recommendations</li>
<li>they call you, tell you what they like, and you recommend something they might like</li>
<li>write down in a spreadsheet what they requested and what you recommended</li>
<li>afterwards, ask how happy they were with your recommendation. write that down, too.</li>
<li>eventually put this spreadsheet into a database</li>
<li>eventually put this database on a website - letting people browse past satisfied recommendations</li>
<li>keep improving your ability to recommend (by asking experts, learning more)</li>
<li>eventually write a program to have the computer recommend without you</li>
</ol>
<p>
By getting that initial lo-fi hands-on experience, you'll have a deeper understanding of what people really want from music recommendations.
</p><p>
Then you can <strong>build your service incrementally based on real user communication</strong>, instead of hiding in a lab for a year programming in isolation based on a year-old hunch.
</p><p>
If you say you want to do something, DO IT! Never blame outside forces stopping you. Work around obstacles to start immediately.
</p><p>
<em>(P.S. He didn't like my advice. That was a few months ago. He's probably still looking for funding.)</em>
</p>
<img src="http://sivers.org/images/tinybaby.jpg" width="348" height="296" alt="http://www.flickr.com/photos/35618275@N00/505881891/" />