Occasionally, you’ll hear stories about the kid who was singing while waiting for the subway. He was overheard by a record exec, and 3 months later had a smash-hit record. The same stories are rampant in the internet space as well.
I’ve come to believe that most of these are folk legend. While there may be the one-in-a-million success story like this, I believe the real way to find your path to success is unrelenting perseverance coupled with the ability to quickly learn from mistakes and change as necessary.
I’ve been working on our little company for 2 years now. We hired our first guy (Chuck) about 15 months ago. We continually tweak and change the model and try lots of things, learn, fail fast, and change. Sometimes I want things to happen quicker than they are. I want to feel like we’re the next big web thing. But I try to remember that most great companies take decades to become great. Even with the speed and agility of the net, true success takes time. We have to give ourselves that time to grow.
This reminds me of an interview I read on Bono. He said that if U2 was just starting today with the same level of success they had on their first two albums, they would have been dropped, and the band would’ve dissipated. The record labels today want a big hit, or you’re washed aside (sounds like a VC). But because they were given the time and belief, they were able to become what they are today.
While I’m very proud of where we’ve come from, our company started off making the equivalent of Boy – a bad album with a couple bright spots. But, over time, I know we’re going to make our Joshua Tree.