Overnight Successes Are Rarely An Overnight Success

You’ve heard of overnight successes, companies like Pandora, brands like Fab, authors like J.K. Rowling, but what you often don’t hear about is the years it took them to become an overnight success. Pandora for example spent 11 years to get to where they are today and almost failed in the early years of their business.

Harry Potter is a runaway success, but the fist ten publishing houses that looked at it told J.K. Rowling to take a hike. Starting a business is a journey and overnight successes are often years in the making. It takes the willingness to learn from your customers and the ability to change your idea or “pivot” which has turned-into the most over-used buzzword in the startup space, but for good reason.

The Mailbox App has recently been touted as one of the most incredibly overnight successes of this year…but as usual, it wasn’t an overnight success, instead it was years of work on a productivity app called Orchestra that inspired the founders to build Mailbox. TechCrunch released a great interview with the co-founder of Mailbox, Gentry Underwood that I highly recommend you watch. Oh and next time you feel bad that your idea isn’t an overnight success, remember, you need to be ready for a marathon, quick sprints rarely win the race.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Jonathan May 3, 2013, 12:49 pm

    Very true, Morgan.

    Anyone who thinks you can get rich quick (well at least legally) will find that that simply is a dream. It requires time, a lot of hard work, and a few bounces going your way.

    But certainly not something that happens overnight.

  • DNhow May 3, 2013, 11:08 pm

    Mailbox is some app. Thanks for the mention. Many businesses are created after owners fail. Sometimes you target the wrong audience by accident. It’s just like domaining, you can get it wrong at first but often your failures point you in the right direction for success.

  • Cate May 7, 2013, 1:53 pm

    Known Jason for Fab.com for about 5 yrs. now – from Jobster to Social Median to Fabulis pivot/restart FAB – they worked their asses off – that is all 🙂


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