Most entrepreneur do not get their first project to be a success
The road to success is paved with Failures. The first idea people have is very rarely the one that will take off. When you look closer, most of what seem like overnight success is in reality the result of many prior failed attempts.
Evan Spiegel founder of Snapchat first co-founded during summer 2010 an app called “Future Freshman” just after the completed his sophomore. The app was designed to help kids get into college. It completely failed. He worked on it for about a year, he and his co-founder Murphy decided to pull the plug because… no one was using it.
Spiegel did not give up on his dream of building the next tech behemoth and finally build Snap, who came to be a $20 billion company.
Few people know it, but Twitter was born from Odeo, a Podcast service that Evan Willians (co-founder of Blogger, Twitter, and Middle) had founded after they sold Blogger. After building Odeo, the team realized that in fact they were not listening to as much podcast as they thought. And then in 2005, Apple announces that iTunes will integreate a podcasting platform, as Odeo intended to do. It was during a hackathon organized by Evan to "explore new directions" that the idea of Twitter came into being. Twitter was born out of a failure.
It's through curiosity and looking at opportunities in new ways that we've always mapped our path at Dell. There's always an opportunity to make a difference.
Peter Thiel spoke at YC he drew a Venn diagram that illustrates the situation perfectly. He drew two intersecting circles, one labelled "seems like a bad idea" and the other "is a good idea." The intersection is the sweet spot for startups. This concept is a simple one and yet seeing it as a Venn diagram is illuminating. It reminds you that there is an intersection—that there are good ideas that seem bad. It also reminds you that the vast majority of ideas that seem bad are bad.
I'm convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance. It is so hard. You put so much of your life into this thing. There are such rough moments in time that I think most people give up. I don't blame them. Its really tough and it consumes your life. If you've got a family and you're in the early days of a company, I can't imagine how one could do it. I'm sure its been done but its rough. Its pretty much an eighteen hour day job, seven days a week for awhile. Unless you have a lot of passion about this, you're not going to survive. You're going to give it up. So you've got to have an idea, or a problem or a wrong that you want to right that you're passionate about otherwise you're not going to have the perseverance to stick it through. I think that's half the battle right there.
When I meet with the founders of a new company, my advice is almost always, 'Do fewer things.' It's true of partnerships, marketing opportunities, anything that's taking up your time. The vast majority of things are distractions, and very few really matter to your success.