Chris Dixon, entrepreneur and investor, had a fantastic post on the myth of the overnight success:
Angry Birds was Rovio’s 52nd game. They spent eight years and almost went bankrupt before finally creating their massive hit. Pinterest is one of the fastest growing websites in history, but struggled for a long time. Pinterest’s CEO recently said that they had “catastrophically small numbers” in their first year after launch, and that if he had listened to popular startup advice he probably would have quit.
You tend to hear about startups when they are successful but not when they are struggling. This creates a systematically distorted perception that companies succeed overnight. Almost always, when you learn the backstory, you find that behind every “overnight success” is a story of entrepreneurs toiling away for years, with very few people except themselves and perhaps a few friends, users, and investors supporting them.
Startups are hard, but they can also go from difficult to great incredibly quickly. You just need to survive long enough and keep going so you can create your 52nd game.
TED has been around for 30 years and has only seen incredible growth in the last 5 years or so.
Richard Maponya acquired the land where the Maponya Mall is situated in 1979, at first as a 100-year lease. In 1994, after several attempts, he acquired it outright.
Seth Godin has been blogging every day for 20 years.
The examples never end.
If you are building something, anything of worth.. it takes years. You have got to be in it for the long run.
You only win people, one at a time. And of course, you lose them in hordes.
Persistence is often underrated.
‘It takes 10 years to become an overnight sensation.’ – Robin Sharma