What An Internet Forum Tells Us About Success
“A man searches for the key to success
He’d rather be sure than make a wild guess”
– Four Tops, What Is A Man?.
Dustin Moskowitz, co-founder of Facebook, was once asked by an interviewer about the sensations that come with being an “overnight success”. Moskowitz politely yet pointedly rebuked the question, reminding the naïve interviewer of the years of late nights spent coding that were behind the seemingly instantaneous success. It’s a question that sums up popular concepts of success. A product of outcomes being celebrated; the less romantic processes behind them ignored. “Kid Becomes Instant Billionaire” is a far more tantalizing tale than “Kid Spends 14 Hours A Day Learning To Code, Achieves Success”.
But that’s how society thinks.
We all want to be that overnight success but not many are willing to endure the countless nights that lie behind it. There’s a business forum of which I’m a member; it’s filled with tales of success.
Threads wind on for pages that map a user’s path to success. It’s easy for a new user, compelled by newfound enthusiasm, to open the most recent page where success is laid out, ignoring the countless pages that attest to the process behind it. This is a microcosm of society’s view.
All that is seen is the wondrous outcome; the gritty work behind it ignored. This perspective fuels the aimless endeavours of would-be entrepreneurs: They see the spoils but not the toils. I’m at a juncture of my business that commands persistence. Having already read the content of the threads, I like to look at the date of the first post and the last as a reminder of the time and process required to make a business. It keeps me focused, encourages patience, and reminds me of the importance of process.