Don’t get caught in the marketing and sales pitch of complex tools which say you need a “system” to manage your [insert your problem]. More often than not, phone calls and emails still get the job done. While you’re shaping a new idea, or even a new company, don’t let the tools get in the way.
Starting simple also allows you to learn what needs are real. This period will help you form a shopping list when you are ready for a tool that's more complex.
It’s tempting to want a tool that will fix your problem. But here’s a secret: every business is held together by duct tape, and every business is a little embarrassed about how they do things. Don’t let marketers tell you otherwise.
We like to start with simple Basecamps to manage an idea, and sometimes a spreadsheet. When the idea becomes more complex, or the spreadsheet starts to be more cumbersome than helpful, we’ll see if there’s a tool that could do the job better. When it is time to shop for a more complex app, it’s better to get a recommendation from a trusted friend than from reading the home page of a website. The proven usefulness of a recommended product far outweighs how good an app can look on a sales pitch.
It's best to err on the side of using tools that are too simple rather than overly complex. Know what is needed to get the job done, and be mindful of when your idea has evolved into something you know is worth the investment of a more robust tool.