I am getting increasingly intrigued by the Question of How Long does it take to create a meaningful business.
First and foremost, what does a 'meaningful business' mean?
Obviously different things for different folks:
- If I am a 35 year old dude working in some suffocating white collar job that pays me 15-30 lacs a year, and if I can do something 'on my own', that gives me the same money + no boss + unlimited freedom, it sounds 'meaningful'.
- For Start Up entrepreneurs just having graduated or completed their first job, any independent business that pays the bills and yet makes them an 'entrepreneur' with unlimited potential is 'meaningful'.
- For digital entrepreneurs like myself, having done this grind for many years with nothing really GRAND to show yet, a Billion $$$ Company is 'meaningful'.
You can interpret 'meaningful' using your personal achievement dictionary.
The question of this discussion is - how long does it take to make something meaningful happen?
In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell talks about 10,000 hours as the dedicated effort required to master anything. (I didn't care about the book but really liked this point).
In my humble calculations, I have figured that it takes 10 SOLID years of tireless, unrelenting, punishing, and insane effort to create anything of meaning and substance.
Sure, a Twitter or Facebook or Zynga happen, but across businesses and vertical and considering the past and present of listed and successful Companies, 10 years is the MINIMUM waiting period.
This carries lots of implications:
- If your business is VC funded, will they accept a 10 year 'blossom' horizon? (Sumant Mandal - my investor from Clearstone Venture Partners told me recently that they believe it takes 10 years to create a great Company).
- If you are on your own, are you signing up for 10 years? You could be a service provider or a digital product creator - have you considered this length of time and effort dedication?
- Will you get distracted to take the EASY way out? See the new business busts and bubbles and in all of them you will notice this MAD hunger to grow dramatically and before time. The penalties of stumbling to these follies are horrific.
I have always maintained - If you want to grow a Rose Garden, have the time and dedication to do so, coz Rose Gardens don't grow in a hurry.
Do share your views and experiences...
THIS TAKES TIME!