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.

Source: Blogs Falling in an Empty Forest, NY Times

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”

Strong Buy

Back to normal blogging?

Looks like the Republican Forces (pro-Ouattara) started an all out offensive on Monday, and they seem to be advancing everywhere, except on the most expected route from Bouaké to Tiébissou to Yamoussoukro. A good map of the Ivory Coast can be found at

If this keeps going I might be going back to business and entrepreneurship blogging soon. Would be about time.

“Upside potential should Gbagbo be unable to repel pro-Ouattara forces”

On Bloomberg I read that the Ivorian government bonds are rallying on news of the pro-Ouattara advance, on expectation that the crisis will end, that Ouattara takes full power and starts making bond payments.

The bond price could be the quickest way to get an honest view of how things are going in the Ivory Coast. As I’m writing this, the USD-denominated Ivory Coast bond maturing in 2032 is trading at bid/offer 39.567 / 40.469 cents on the dollar.

One can really see the unfolding of the Ivorian crisis in the bond price:

Possibly a great buy, the only catch is that the minimum denomination is USD 100,000. Any volunteers to bet all their savings on a defaulted bond issued by a small african country at war?

Ivorian blogs

I’ve finally found some quality Ivorian blogs. First l’Actu Web d’Edith which is about the web in the Ivory Coast and about Ivorians involved in blogging and other Internet-related activities. It’s a goldmine to find good Ivorian blogs.

Found these via Edith’s blog: Aller de l’avant – personal comments on current events in the Ivory Coast and the rest of the world Journalist Theophile Kouamouo blogging

And a few others I haven’t looked at very closely yet:

Blog houskeeping

I am aware that I am doing practically all newbie blog mistakes as outlined by Pat on the Smart Passive Income blog, but now I finally just started to do something about it.

1. Favicon – the little image that is next to the web address in most browsers.

I just changed from the default wordpress icon to a palm tree against a blue sky, which is a bit of a temporary fix. I need something that looks good even if it’s small. The thing here is that I’m from an engineering/mathematics background, and graphic design, while I respect the importance of it, is totally not my thing. I am thinking seriously about paying someone to shape up my blog. Recommendations are welcome!

2. My avatar

Until today I had been using some default picture. Now I changed to palm trees in front of the skyline of Abidjan. It should really be a picture of me, and well, the day will come when I no longer need to be anonymous.
Gravatar for

3. Categories

I now have enough posts to see natural categories materialising, so I have categorised all my post as per:

The Business Environment

This category covers macroeconomics, generalities of the real estate market in Ivory Coast and Africa, politics, and thoughts about business.

My Projects

Following the progress of my investment and business activities. I should within months be able to provide regular revenue  reports here.

Lifestyle Design

The term lifestyle design was (according to wikipedia) originally coined by Timothy Ferriss in the book The 4-Hour Workweek. It’s about designing one’s own ideal, often unconventional lifestyle, and that almost  inevitably includes asking big and almost philosophical questions about what one really wants to do with one’s life.

I really like thinking and writing about these things, but I got to admit that when writing about it I feel a bit out of my comfort zone (remember I have an engineering/mathematics background). On the other hand, my experience is that stepping out of one’s comfort zone can often yield pretty great results.

Ivory Coast and Africa

Everything about Ivory Coast and Africa that’s not linked to business. It’s simply a bloody interesting place, and different from the rest of the world – I went to West Africa as a teenager and got hooked by the people, the way social interactions are made, the politics, the atmosphere, the parties, the way of life…   Thought this would be my main theme if I started a blog, but that was before I heard about lifestyle design and got serious about my own business venture.


I try to be curious,  and instead of pretending I got things under control (which can be quite a dangerous attitude in a place such as the Ivory Coast)  I like to highlight unanswered questions so they can be  answered or discussed  by blog readers or me, or maybe never answered at all.  I’ll try to bi-monthly or so, bring up unanswered questions and then follow up on them.


Meta posts about blogging, such as this one.


Wildcat stuff that I just felt like putting in the blog; P J O’Rourke, Astronomy, small furry animals…


Ok, I have been thinking about starting a blog for years, but haven’t really found a good focus until now. Inspired by lifestyle design blogs (such as Tim Ferriss, Chris Guillebeau, The Ren Men Show), and investing/business blogs (Epic business life and love stories Contrarian Edge) this blog will chronicle my possibly rocky path to set up a stream of passive income by investing in real estate in mainly the Ivory Coast while having fun and enjoying moving away from mainstream life choices.

As long as I keep my day job I’ll stay somewhat anonymous, but I am still very open to interact with readers. One of the purposes of this blog is to get in contact with interesting people!