You should proceed with the end in mind.  That’s good advice regardless of whether you are working in a startup, you’re a designer, or you’re running an organization.

Backing up a step, though, ask yourself what you are really doing:  are you building a product or a company?  There’s a subtle difference between the two.

Are you primarily concerned with the design of a product, how it’s going to be used, or certain features that can be incorporated into it?  Are you considering how this object or service can evolve over time as user needs change? 

Or are you thinking about how this concept and how it can generate revenue both in the short and long-term?  Are you developing repeatable processes?  Are you figuring out how to create a business model that lets you control what happens in the future?

These are important points to consider if you are toying with the idea of starting your own company.  Focusing purely on the product at the expense of building a system for creating not only a product but also steady revenue, is a short-sighted approach to doing business.

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