- Basic equipment to get you going - at least a stock pot for heating/boiling and fermentation bucket. Most home brew shops sell starter kits
- Gaining an understanding of the process. Maybe ask another home brewer if you can watch them or check out youtube and other online resources
- Pitching plenty of healthy yeast at a temperature it's happy with. Happy yeast really is the most important ingredient in brewing
- Sanitation throughout your brewing process - really important!
- Recipes - check out sites such as BYO and BeerSmith
- Handling post fermentation - read up on oxidation and don't do any of those things
- Packaging - be it bottles, pressure barrels or mini-kegs, plan in advance what you're going to do once the beer is ready to drink.
Stuff to not worry about until later:
- Constructing recipes from scratch
- Fancy equipment - you can make great beer with a very basic set up and it's a great way to learn the process. Fancy equipment doesn't make you a better brewer, it just makes you poorer
- Fine-grained temperature control - plenty of yeasts are happy at typical ambient room temperatures, so start with those (see US-05, S-04, Nottingham etc.)
- Brewing the perfect beer. It's a learning process and with every brew you'll learn and improve. Don't be put off if your first IPA isn't as close to Pliny the Elder as you'd hoped
Home brewing really is an exciting and rewarding hobby. The main thing is to enjoy it and have fun!
Feel free to add any additional thoughts below. What helped you get started? Any tips to share?