Whether you are starting a project or a company do you really want it to grow fast? Do you want to try and control a beast running wild? Far too many of us envision a quick start and a happy finish, but rarely do you see that today. Once that momentum builds up, keeping it is a lot harder than getting it initially.
Seth Godin wrote about overnight successes and if you follow the 37signals’ philosophy you know that they believe its much better to make your mistakes while under the radar than when you make it. The problem is that in this type of aggressive environment not becoming big quick can become discouraging.
With 9rules we had a very slow and steady growth and have made a number of mistakes basically because we don’t have another blueprint to follow. We know what we want to do and we have a feeling that what we are doing is right, but we can not be totally sure because it has never been done in our space before so there are bound to be some hiccups. However, every single time we walkaway feeling a bit stronger while learning something new.
If we would’ve blown up at the rate of Digg I don’t think I would have been able to handle it. I can’t speak for my partners, but I know the thought is cool and everything, however I would have to buy a new set of boxers everyday if that event occurred. Now that we have been around for over a year I much more prepared to handle challenges and have a better understanding of the overall picture and that definitely couldn’t have happened by getting big fast.
Think of the new freelance designer who takes on more projects than he realized he could handle. Think of the new music group that experiences overnight success only to disappear by their next album. The athlete with a superior rookie season that can’t be matched his sophomore year.
I know that we can’t always control how fast we grow, but we can control what we wish for so if I were you I would think twice before asking for that huge overnight success. Take your time and let things marinate, it usually works out better in the long run that way.