Being Consistent Is Consistently The Hardest Thing To Do


Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix & Pearl Jam all originated from Washington.

I had no clue.

But that changed last week I spoke at Mozcon and had the chance to check out the Pop Culture Museum. It was fascinating to take a trip back into time when Nirvana, Pearl Jam & Jimi graced the music charts. There was also a Prince exhibit happening which was amazing as I’m obsessed with the influence he had on culture and music as a whole.

The most interesting part of this experience was looking back at some of their earlier work. The Nirvana exhibit had artwork that Kurt Cobain had created as a kid and songs that Jimi Hendrix wrote years before he became a household name. The work that went into becoming a success story is often overlooked. Not only in music… But in all areas of work, art, creativity, and imagination.

The idea of an ‘overnight’ success is truly a myth…

Even in business. It’s very rare to see a company take off with product-market fit in one quick go. People often forget that SaaS giants like Slack ( which recently went public) started as a company called Tiny Speck and evolved into the service most of us know and love today.

Better yet…

Twitter was created by a company originally known as Odeo & Facebook was originally a tool called FaceMash. The list goes on…

The creation of something great is very rarely linear and simple. Some SaaS products that are currently getting a lot of ‘overnight success’ love include:

Superhuman: 5yrs old
Airtable: 6yrs old
Notion: 5yrs old
Monday: 7yrs old

Don’t get me wrong…

In most industries, 5-7 years old isn’t considered long. But for a lot of tech founders, entrepreneurs and startup employees — that might seem like forever. I mean, the median tenure for workers age 25 to 34 is a little over 3 years. And the median tenure for a ‘social media guru’ to change their title to ‘cryptocurrency expert’ or ‘chatbot specialist’ is even shorter.

Here’s my point…

Greatness comes from sticking with something.

You can’t create to a great skill stack by hopping from one job to the next.
You can’t create a great blog by starting and stopping every 10 months.
You can’t build a great company if you’re willing to quit after 2 years.
You can’t write music that shapes culture after 2 music lessons.

You have to be consistent. And while that’s consistently the hardest thing to do…

It’s also the most important.