"Twitter has 145m users in the same way @MikeTyson has $400m in career earnings."
It seems to me that a couple of people are trying to show how much value there is in Twitter, like a orphaned puppy looking extra adorable for possible new owners. Just saying.
Thing is that everyone knows the right stats to publish. They only use 145M because is sounds better than (the more likely) 70M active. This doesn't come as a coincidence as Twitter is trying to start selling ads. Attractiveness to advertisers is directly proportional to audience size.
I think this is one of the most important pieces of advice ever. Not many people are solo savants - almost everyone who is successful (in business, academia, life) is surrounded by other competent, like-minded people.
We're all standing on the shoulders of giants here, and the romantic meme of the lone-wolf superstar maverick needs to be put away.
This is so since the super brain has the combined knowledge but not the combined biases of the individuals. To give an analogue this is like these comment threads where knowledge gets added and incorrect statements promptly and strongly refuted, but on a much much higher resolution when you work with a smart person face to face for a considerable length of time.
Sure adding that 2nd smart person, the 8th smart person, etc., can add benefit and yield a whole which is greater than the sum of the individual parts in isolation. But once you are in the organization size range where you're adding a 500th person, a 10,000th person, then the organization almost always takes on other qualities and conditions: bureaucracy, slowing down, middle management, rules, paperwork, gossip, insulation from consumers/competition, groupthink, aversion to risk, and so on. And these qualities dumb it down. The "group brain" becomes much dumber than a smart brain when left alone and unfettered as an individual.
Google is a bit of an exceptional case where despite having on the OOM of 20k employees they don't seem to have quite succumbed to Big Dumb Company-itis. Surely they have some aspects of it, but they've tried hard to fight it and stay like a smaller/younger org.
I once dealt with a startup that was around 12 people and already I could see symptoms of Big Dumb Company start to manifest themselves.
However, I don't think the time aspect of his success story is about an overnight success taking 10 years as much as it is about refining one's product & market acumen over time, combined with having the luck to put something on the market (micro-blogging service) at just the right timing when a lot of people are ready for it (traditional blogging had become mainstream, but also lots of bloggers had become dissatisfied with the ROI and/or blog readers were looking for smaller/easier things to read and/or with more frequent updates AND smart phones were taking off with full web access on the go).
Enter Twitter. They executed well, but I think they also had very lucky timing.
"Good Software Takes Ten Years. Get Used To it."
: How the press likes to portray YC: get unknown kids, accelerate them towards terminal funding velocity, stir for three years, and bam instant millionaires.
Back to hardwork.com
More like he learned how to code/design from being given work to do on Xanga.
Rewriting history there eh?
A "lucky break" is more likely to come along if you keep at it for a decade than if you give up after the first non-successful year.
I think skill comes in two forms: The skill of making something that people want to use, but also the skill of recognizing and making the most out of "lucky breaks".
Twitter's emergence from Odeo is pretty similar to Tripod's switch from an advice site to a homepage builder.
A lot of the success of agile businesses and the whole mvp product strategy could be explained by the fact that it embraces the possibility of randomness and unexpected outcomes rather than ignoring it completely.
I could be wrong, but my impression is that wealthy businessmen are somewhat less willing to admit the role of luck than famous scientists are. Due to real differences in the role of luck in the two areas? Due to political considerations (the implications of admitting that wealth disparities aren't all due to merit are more political than the implications of admitting that scientific fame isn't purely due to merit)? Due to the self-deprecating scientists being humbler personalities? Dunno. And I could be wrong on the aggregate difference; I haven't done a survey or anything.