Always start the development process from the need perspective, in the end this creates the most value. Unfortunately, the development process starts often from the solution point-of-view where during the process the customer needs won’t be taken into consideration. There are several ways of collecting customer information and how understanding of customers can be built through this. My experiences are that the sooner you involve the end-user to the development process, the easier it is to get the best insight and knowledge and, in the end, a happy customer.
Don’t assume, ask for a help! It’s very risky but so human to make assumptions for example of the customer’s need or market entry-strategy. There have been entrepreneurs forever and many have succeeded or failed with their business. Usually people are very keen on sharing the information and learnings to others, you just have to ask them. I’ve learned that opening your mouth and asking from the more experienced people would have saved me from many mistakes concerning how to run a company or starting a new product development project.
Be agile and be ready for pivoting. When developing a new solution or running a start-up company will be different compared to more stable business. Usually in some phase the development process won’t proceed as planned, this can be due to some technical difficulties or changed market environment. So, don’t be afraid to change plans and try something new if the old doesn’t work. Try to think the situations as a continues learning experience through The OODA loop cycle (observe–orient–decide–act).
And lastly, always stay positive and enjoy the ride! If there are not any new development projects or start-ups, the world won’t progress.