Overnight Success

People are always surprised that Wattpad is already 5 years old.  Interesting that I don’t think we are the only startup that took more than a couple of months to generate traction:

  • Nine months after launch, Pinterest had 10,000 registered users.  Most of them were inactive.
  • Angry Birds was Rovio 52nd game.  Most of the first 51 failed and the company almost went bankrupt.
  • It took OMGPOP almost six years before becoming an overnight sensation with their #1 app Draw Something.
  • Airbnb got no traction early on.  The founders had to sell numbered edition of Obama O’s cereal and use the proceeds to keep Airbnb alive. 
  • BranchOut took almost 2 years to cross the 1-million-user mark.  Now it is adding 1 million every 2 weeks.

The list can go on and on.

We are all spoiled by YouTube’s launch-and-get-sold-in-1.6-billion-in-15-months story. YouTube was a once-in-a-decade success.  Don’t expect your company to be like that. Most companies take a whole lot longer to build.

Hard work. Persistence. Sweat. And some blood occasionally. There is no short cut. Dream big. But be patience. It is normal to take more than a couple of months to generate traction.