Persistence in blogging
I have been blogging for almost two years now, admittedly with a few gaps here and there (like the last two weeks), but in comparison to the average blog it seems I’m doing ok persistence-wise. Apparently most blogs are abandoned after a couple of months:
Several studies indicate that most blogs are abandoned soon after creation (with 60% to 80% abandoned within one month, depending on whose figures you choose to believe) and that few are regularly updated.
Source: Caslon Analytics
According to a 2008 survey by Technorati, which runs a search engine for blogs, only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs the company tracks had been updated in the past 120 days. That translates to 95 percent of blogs being essentially abandoned, left to lie fallow on the Web, where they become public remnants of a dream — or at least an ambition — unfulfilled.
Persistence in business
I’m thinking – or maybe hoping – that persistance in blogging is a good proxy for persistence in setting up a business.
Few people know better what it takes to set up a business than Paul Graham, partner at Silicon Valley-based seed fund firm Y Combinator. Graham asked start-up founders what surprised them about starting a startup, and a common theme among the answers that came back was the importance of persistence, determination, character and commitment:
1. Be Careful with Cofounders
This was the surprise mentioned by the most founders. There were two types of responses: that you have to be careful who you pick as a cofounder, and that you have to work hard to maintain your relationship.
What people wished they’d paid more attention to when choosing cofounders was character and commitment, not ability. This was particularly true with startups that failed. The lesson: don’t pick cofounders who will flake.
Here’s a typical reponse:
You haven’t seen someone’s true colors unless you’ve worked with them on a startup.
5. Persistence Is the Key
A lot of founders were surprised how important persistence was in startups. It was both a negative and a positive surprise: they were surprised both by the degree of persistence required
Everyone said how determined and resilient you must be, but going through it made me realize that the determination required was still understated.
and also by the degree to which persistence alone was able to dissolve obstacles:
If you are persistent, even problems that seem out of your control (i.e. immigration) seem to work themselves out.
Several founders mentioned specifically how much more important persistence was than intelligence.
I’ve been surprised again and again by just how much more important persistence is than raw intelligence.
This applies not just to intelligence but to ability in general, and that’s why so many people said character was more important in choosing cofounders. Continue reading “Persistence”