Seth Godin reminds us that “new economy” or old – one primary virtue of those who are successful is the ability to persevere. The ability to act near term and plan long term. To not fall into the trap of giving up after the first Angel/VC/Expert smirks at your vision.
In short – don’t quit.
The trap: Show up at a new social network, invest two hours, be really aggressive with people, make some noise and then leave in disgust.
The trap: Use all your money to build a fancy website and leave no money or patience for the hundred revisions you’ll need to do.
The trap: read the tech blogs and fall in love with the bleeding-edge hip sites and lose focus on the long-term players that deliver real value.
The trap: sprint all day and run out of energy before the marathon even starts.
The media wants overnight successes (so they have someone to tear down). Ignore them. Ignore the early adopter critics that never have enough to play with. Ignore your investors that want proven tactics and predictable instant results. Listen instead to your real customers, to your vision and make something for the long haul. Because that’s how long it’s going to take, guys.
That being said – you also can not blindly follow your own passion. You have to have the ability to change direction, re-purpose and follow the needs of your customers. Please understand, Seth isn’t saying ignore EVERYONE and plod along chanting “Ignore them all – they are wrong and I Know I’m Right” as a mantra… he is saying that you should remember who will make you right at the end of the long hard slog – the customers who are willing to open their wallets and trade dollars for your product/service.
You can ignore everyone else… but you better listen to them…