Sam Altman shared an interesting post last week about hard startups. I think some of the wisdom shared could be expanded to starting a side project or a successful open source project. Let me give a terse example…
I remember when Instagram started to get really popular—it felt like you couldn’t go a day without hearing about another photo sharing startup. That year, probably over 1,000 photo sharing startups were funded, while there were fewer than ten nuclear fusion startups in existence.
Compare sinatra/sinatra to rails/rails and you’ll be reminded of all the Ruby frameworks that started up while Rails went “nuclear fusion.”
Here’s my favorite wisdom shared by Sam — because it’s easy to start, but hard to remain committed and finish.
Be willing to make a very long-term commitment to what you’re doing. Most people aren’t, which is part of the reason they pick “easy” startups. In a world of compounding advantages where most people are operating on a 3 year timeframe and you’re operating on a 10 year timeframe, you’ll have a very large edge.