Quite instinctively I’ve happened upon another –
You’d probably want to insert that one between Selection and Sequencing – DSBSS? (I’m choosing to omit description of DSSS from this post because you can read about it elsewhere/I want to focus on the parts directly germane to me.)
The issue I encountered with the muse is the chicken-egg conundrum of “I want to know enough that I won’t waste time/money when I actually start” and “I won’t know everything until I attempt it.” My single bit of advice is: Plan to Fail. That’s it. Plan To Fail at a lot of things, and you won’t be as dejected when your first few ideas don’t take (immediate) flight.
Set aside an amount of money you don’t mind “wasting”, say, $1000. Don’t get me wrong, you’re going to try to get the max out of every dollar, but you need to waste a few hundred experimenting with Adwords and registering domain names alone. I’ll describe in greater detail in another post, but I used Adwords to test two campaigns (and keyword tool to reject about 10 more), and learned plenty to justify my $280 (less than the tuition for a seminar).
Before I lose you, the most important part: Bootstrapping. “Sharpen the Saw,” as Steve Covey says.
You do want to do as much research as possible before you begin – I recommend memorizing the muse-related chapters in FHWW, reading all the muse case studies on Tim’s blog, then checking out Pat Flynn’s, Derek Halpern’s, and Dean Dwyer’s podcasts for more recent, real-world applications – but eventually you’ll have to begin, and that’s where you’ll make your “college try” at a muse or two, and enjoy some exciting successes (“holy shit my click-through rate is through the roof!”), and some failures (“why hasn’t a single person from Elance gotten back to me?!?”).
But here’s the most important part – the “force multiplier”. Now that you’re into some things, and especially when you hit “sticking points”, go back and reread/re-listen-to some of the material you’ve been ruminating on, and just watch all the little details that pop out at you now, that you didn’t notice the first time, just as once you have a kid you suddenly notice the minutiae of disposable diaper brands, or once you’ve purchased a minivan you suddenly notice absurd levels of detail in others’…[ugggh]…minivans.
To play fair/be abundance-minded, here are two details that popped out at me upon “re-upping” some of my source content-
1) “You have to throw a lot of things at the wall and see what sticks before you can do 80/20 analysis,” which I take to mean be zen about your first few stabs failing or getting stuck and be open minded to the possibility that the ideas themselves weren’t a great fit.
2) “Give 5% of the company to a couple of clutch advisers that will give you 1-2 hours per week to review strategy, make introductions, and help drive sales. You CAN NOT do it all by yourself.” In identifying common failure points and people that press past them, one recurring theme is a network of business folks willing to help you. This proved especially prescient after one of my muses got bogged down at the sourcing/prototype stage.