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The Power Of The Long View

12/19/2011

in Make Money

Fifteen years ago, Apple Computers seemed ready to implode. They had no strong leadership, no great products, and were quickly losing the already-small hold they had on the PC marketplace.

No one would have predicted that Apple would become the behemoth that it is today. Most commentators and critics expected that the company would go bankrupt.

What made Apple so successful over the last decade and other companies, such as Dell or Microsoft, so unsuccessful in comparison? Apple succeeded because of their success in pivoting—in trying new products (iPod) and testing the market, until something succeeded.

With any business, it’s important to realize: there are no secrets. No business becomes successful overnight. If you’re starting a business, you have to take the long view: you’re in it for the long haul. Your business will only become successful if you are willing to put in the effort and time. Other marketers who talk about ‘making money overnight!’ are scammers: every business takes time.

I hear what you are saying: ‘But, I don’t want to do SEO/ad buying/XYZ every day for the rest of my life!’ Don’t worry. To succeed, you need to learn to pivot; that is, to recognize what’s working, and move your business around your successes.

Fortunately, thanks to online advertising, it has become MUCH easier in the past few years to test out business models and markets. With Facebook Ads, for example, you can instantly broadcast to millions of people an ad for any potential idea. Within a day, you’ll have enough data to know if the implementation of such a product is possible.

So, ask yourself: are you sure that you’re in it for the long run? Are you willing to nurse your business through it’s beginning stages, pay attention to your successes and failures, and pivot around the market until you succeed?

{ 1 comments… }

Dilanka Wettewa December 22, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Hey Maneesh:

Good reminder of the power of persistence. But I think there several critical flaws in what you have said. Namely, this part:

“..With any business, it’s important to realize: there are no secrets. No business becomes successful overnight. If you’re starting a business, you have to take the long view: you’re in it for the long haul. Your business will only become successful if you are willing to put in the effort and time…”

A few points:

1.) True, there maybe no secrets – but there are proven principles that almost all of them (successful businesses) have in common (‘persistence’ as you mentioned is one of them) and drilling these critical principles into ones cranium can significantly increase their probabilities of becoming successful themselves. I say this mainly after heavy inspiration from the master himself: Charlie Munger. (ie: The importance of understanding mental models). The root of all of this is a very primal emotion: fear. We’ll get into that later though.

2.) It’s important to think of the long term and think about the ‘bigger picture’ – absolutely. But – time + effort + energy by themselves will not make your business (or you) successful. I mean, I could spend the most amount of time, effort and energy digging a hole in the middle of the Sahara or driving around without a map – but that won’t make me successful, because I lack direction or strategy. This is why the business/start-up failure rate is so staggering.

The tricky part is combining time + effort + energy with two important elements: strategy and execution. I think those are the key differentiators when it comes to doing something worthwhile/valuable.

Then again, I don’t consider myself to have achieved those pillars of success myself (yet – but be forewarned: it’s coming). So I might be talking out of my ass – so like my mother says: please ignore dilanka.

Cheers to persistence, mind stimulating blog posts and a fantastic (and epic) 2012!

Thanks Maneesh.

Dilanka

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