There is No Overnight Success

Hey everyone,

I’ve been reflecting recently on the concept of an “overnight success,” and I think, with very few exceptions, they basically don’t exist. When you hear “origin stories” on podcasts and in interviews, they usually involve a fairly long period of struggle and/or toiling in obscurity. A few examples:

  1. Nike - I read Shoe Dog (highly recommend) this year, and learned that Nike struggled to meet payroll and find a sustainable business model for its first ~10 years of operation. Founder Phil Knight had to find a day job as an accountant while he worked on Nike in his spare time.

  2. Sara Dietschy - Sara, a YouTuber, went from 4K to 40K subscribers overnight when her video parody of a Casey Neistat vlog went viral. However, she’d been consistently uploading for several years at that point, and had put a ton of work into her series Creative Spaces TV. When her Casey video went viral she had a bunch of other stuff that people could watch, and a reason for them to subscribe.

  3. Wes Bos - Wes is probably the most popular indie webdev course creator out there. His origin story makes clear that he approached his career with a long-game mentality that took consistently producing value before any significant “success” came. This tweet sums it up:

So, I’m reminding myself that it is a long road, and that consistency is the name of the game. There is no overnight success, but there is incremental progress.

Pete’s Picks ✅

  1. Article: From Wired Magazine, the story of the hacker who took down the WannaCry malware. He was perhaps not the hero you might think.

  2. Podcast: To the point of this post, this week’s How I Built This episode with Ring founder Jamie Siminoff was a good one, full of ups and downs.

This Week’s Twitter Thread 🐦

My summary of Tim Ferriss’ video on how to negotiate