Launching Your App Isn’t Success
The road to success is a marathon, not a sprint.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that success can be easy and spontaneous. The danger with such thinking is that we believe instant success is such a real possibility that we never do anything to earn it or prepare for it.
There’s an old joke; “It took me over 20 years to become an overnight success!”
Success doesn’t come instantly, and it sure as hell doesn’t come from big announcements. It originates from a long-term dedication toward building something real. Launching an app is an essential part of the startup game, but no matter how well received your launch is or isn’t, it’s only one day of many to come. It’s always great if your users love and use your app. But again, that’s just one day.
This isn’t little league where everyone gets a medal for participating. Successful people don’t just get it right immediately — they fail and fail again. Almost any successful person can tell you a story of failure or rejection that ultimately was an introduction to approval and recognition.
- Apple – it took Steve Jobs two decades to become an overnight dot-com billionaire.
- YouTube – It took YouTube 5 years to turn profitable.
- Amazon – it launched in 1994, but only added book reviews in 1996 and CDs in 1998. And let’s not forget that they weren’t profitable in the first seven years.
Seth Godin argues that “Along the way, some people have trained themselves to believe that the only kind of success worth having is an overnight success. That if you don’t hit #1 the first week, you’ve failed. That if your interface isn’t perfect out of the box, or if you don’t get 5,000 people standing in line at the opening of your new store, you’ve failed.”
Look at your big launch as an excellent start, but only one step in the larger race. Companies don’t magically become successful from launches, it’s what they do after the launch because success takes time. Even the fastest growing companies like Google or Facebook took years to develop before they hit a sustainable stride. Success is built daily.
The idea of overnight success has become a prevalent cultural myth and one that may keep us from truly understanding and appreciating what it takes to build a meaningful career and establish purposeful influence.