My 2001 BMW has a navigation system. It sucks. Even in 2001 when the car was brand new, it sucked. I think there are two reasons:
- Car development cycles are long. A navigation system in a 2001 car was being designed years before that
- BMW simply isn’t good at designing navigation systems. The badass mechanical engineers in Munich don’t know anything about user interfaces
That’s why I was super happy to read about BMW’s new ConnectedDrive system. It lets you dock your iOS4 iPhone or iPad to your car and use it through the in car controls.
Ever since the iPod came out in 2001, I’ve been waiting for a car manufacturer to stick one in their dashboard. But instead they kept building crappy information systems, with mediocre iPod support. Almost 10 years later, they are beginning to see the light.
BMW’s development of navigation systems is a great example of what startups should not do.
- Don’t have long development cycles. You should ship early and often. Be nimble. Iterate and pivot quickly. Stay ahead of the competition.
- Stick to what you’re good at. A startup doesn’t have time to build everything. You should build what you are the best at. Other stuff should be outsourced or ignored.
At Posterous, we’re all about posting and sharing. And we’re fortunate to have partners like Rackspace for hosting, Mixpanel for analytics, Zencoder for video, and others. These guys let us focus on what we do best.