Startup Monday: Without A Struggle There Is No Progress

I thought I’d start-off another Startup Monday with one of my favorite quotes on the planet, “Without a Struggle there is no Progress,” which was said by, Frederick Douglass, a brilliant man and leader of the abolitionist movement. During a time of extreme oppression Frederick Douglass escaped slavery and made an incredible impact in society. He endured some of the most intense challenges any of us could imagine, and despite being treated horribly for so much of his life, he knew in his heart (and was quoted as saying), “without a struggle there is no progress.”

Believe it or not I first heard this quote in 8th grade and its stuck with me since then. Heck, its more than stuck with me, it’s the quote I’ve told myself over and over when times get tough and it really has helped me. In the Startup world there is a lot of struggling and in many cases without that struggle, progress would not be made.

I woke-up this morning and was excited to see an article in TechCrunch written by one of my favorite entrepreneurs, Justin Kan from Justin.tv. This is one of the best articles I’ve read about Startups and Justin does a great job of talking about the struggles that Startups go through (particularly the founders) and the importance of sticking with it and not throwing in the towel if you truly believe what you are doing will be a success. In the article Justin makes a great point about the concept of an “overnight success”:

When startups commit suicide, often the root problem can be traced back to a lack of product traction — it’s rare to find people willingly quitting companies with exploding metrics. But one thing that many entrepreneurs don’t realize is that patience and iteration are critical in achieving product market fit. Overnight successes might happen fast, but they never actually happen overnight. Facebook lagged Myspace for a couple years before being crowned the top social network. Groupon had to iterate through being ThePoint. If the teams had given up after a single failure (or even many failures), they would never have created the massive companies that capture the public eye today. (Startups don’t die, they commit Suicide, TechCrunch)

So many people are discouraged by failure. It is those that see that failure as an opportunity to learn and move forward that in the end become a success. If you look at any successful Startup, many encountered situations where most would throw in the towel, but they didn’t, they pushed through and achieved their dreams. No matter what it is you want to do always remember, you can do it, but if you don’t believe in yourself or your idea, you probably never will.

I highly recommend you start your morning, like mine by reading Startups don’t die, they commit Suicide, TechCrunch. Good morning, TGIM, and welcome to Startup Monday!

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