Angry Birds was Rovio’s 52nd game. They spent eight years and almost went bankrupt before finally creating their massive hit. Pinterest is one of the fastest growing websites in history, but struggled for a long time. Pinterest’s CEO recently said that they had “catastrophically small numbers” in their first year after launch, and that if he had listened to popular startup advice he probably would have quit.
Just had a discussion along these lines earlier this week. I’m amazed at how many successes there are that people assume were overnight. I’ve witnessed quite a few that were in fact nowhere near overnight, yet praised as such when they finally got noticed. It’s a misleading and harmful belief.